Can’t Yoga

yoga mats

I took my first yoga class in… let’s see, when was that? I think 1997… yeah, that seems right. And I fell in love with yoga right then. I took that yoga class offered at my college a few more times before I graduated in 1999. Then I practiced yoga at home with some weird yoga show I found on PBS. It aired at strange times so it worked with my odd hours due to working at a television station.

When I started running in 2008 I still kept up a consistent yoga practice. I had a lot of time to myself since my husband worked long hours, so I’d run for an hour, then do yoga for 45 minutes. I even did a 15-minute cool-down routine after every run on the days I didn’t do the longer flow. And on non-running days I would do a 60-90 minute home practice.

Then I got pregnant and I didn’t do yoga during that. It just didn’t feel great. It works for some people but not me.

After I had my daughter I would do yoga now and then when she was small. I rolled out two mats, one for me and one for her. She would crawl under me and we both laughed. It wasn’t a great practice, but it was fun. Plus seeing a little 1-year-old in a diaper trying to do Down Dog is adorable.

But these days? I never have time to do yoga when there are other workouts I want to do more. (Run… strength train…)

But even when I find time to squeeze in some yoga, the weirdest thing happens. Downward-facing Dog is one of the staple yoga moves, and most practices tell you to move back to that pose A LOT. But every time I invert myself, I get intense pressure in my head. It’s like a brutal headache and I have to come out of the pose. Once I right myself, I see stars for a moment and then the pressure abates.

If I do it too many times, I usually get queasy and then have to lay on the floor and let the nausea pass. Yoga has many benefits, but making you sick to your stomach isn’t supposed to be one of those.

I do get dizzy and lightheaded a lot these days. If I’m pulling weeds, whenever I stand up the world goes black for a few beats and then my dizziness clears and I can proceed. I wonder if it’s related to that.

I have mentioned that dizziness to my doctor and she seems unconcerned. I feel like a mess of symptoms and most of the time she recommends that I’ve got to learn how to relax. And that’s always been difficult for me. And now that we’re living through a global pandemic? Well, I can’t relax and I’m absolutely not going to the doctor unless it’s SERIOUS.

So for now… I can’t do yoga anymore. If any of you have experienced anything like this, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll just remember the years I did it fondly and try it again in the future. Once I’ve figured out how to relax!


  1. How are your iron levels? I run low on iron, and it gives me headaches and causes me to feel like blacking out sometimes. I’ve never medicated for it because I know I run low, so I try to eat a lot of leafy greens and red meat if I’m feeling low at all or during my period, but members of my family have blacked out before when they get low.

    • Hmmm… good question. I don’t know that level. But I rarely eat red meat, so I could try to eat more. I have blacked out a few times, I always chalked it up to general fatigue. But then, fatigue can also be a symptom of low-iron. Leafy greens might be easier to add more of, I really really don’t do much meat in general!

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