Yoga classes have been hard lately. I’m going through some sort of change and I’ve left classes feeling like shit. Not energized and light per usual but completely drained and down on myself. I thought there was something wrong with me until a recent teleseminar I tuned into with Hillary Rubin. It was geared towards yoga teachers but I listened anyway (what can I say, I adore her and will listen to any content she puts out). Well…I half-listened, as I do on most teleseminars. But my ears perked up when she talked about her healing process and how, during times of cosmic shifts, yoga used to leave her feeling…well exactly like I had been lately. That stuck with me, even though I didn’t know why (yet).
Fast forward to this past Sunday morning’s yoga class. I woke up in a weird place. Dragged my ass outta bed and forced myself to get grocery shopping before class to avoid the rush from people who were just realizing that the Superbowl was in a couple of hours and New England was playing. I make my way through class, sometimes feeling juicy and strong and sometimes wanting to just give up. I pushed my wrists harder than I should have. At the same time I was gentle, taking rests when the Chataranga Dandasanas got to be too much or when my breath came restricted. Jen was, as always, full of wisdom, encouraging us to modify twists and other poses (I’m guessing in response to the recent NYT yoga scandal), and talking about how we often mistake strain and shallow breathing for working hard when, in fact, our true edge still allows us to breathe deeply.
Then we moved into half pigeon. Now, if you’ve ever practiced yoga, you’ve likely heard a teacher discuss the hips as emotional warehouses. We send so much pain and joy and hurt and fear to them. Physically, we sit all day and wear shoes that are awful for us. Hip openers tend to be intense, always physically and sometimes emotionally. I was doing fine until Jen said one word: change.
Heaving/gasping/weeping…I couldn’t stop. She went on to discuss navigating change gracefully and linked it in to opening the hips and finding calm in moments of intense sensation (but again: not pain!) and so on. I don’t really remember because I was caught up in this wave of emotional release…of self forgiveness…of enlightenment.
At my parties I say that g-spot orgasms are a full body, out of body, curtain climbing experience. This was better.
I cried through the other hip. I cried through savasana. I cried through our closing ohm. I tried to grab a bathroom to sob in but none were free. Other people clearly felt uncomfortable, not sure what to say. But I couldn’t stop it. The tears flowed out of me taking with them months of guilt and hurt and anxiety and I wouldn’t have wanted them to stop even if I could have. I made a deal with myself that I would ask Jen for a hug.
Sounds so simple, right? But I’m never sure of the line with my teachers, especially those I’ve only practiced with a handful of times. I was sure, however, that I needed the comfort of someone else’s touch. The fact that Jen is an awesome massage therapist mighta influenced that thought. 😉
So I asked, and I received. It wasn’t a big deal. But what came after the hug was. I looked at Jen and said, “Don’t worry. This is good. Its all good. I need this.”
Because it was and because I did. I felt cleaner and clearer than in months. No tightness in my third eye, no worry over returning home to who-knows-what, no question in my mind that I should travel down to see my honey for the big game. Just calm and peace.
Fast forward one day. When I walked out of work on Monday, I immediately was stopped in my tracks by the sight of the moon over Lake Quinsig (kind of like the one above). Inspired by the pure beauty of that sight, I meandered home slowly, taking in every bit of hope the dusk had to offer. I determined I would stop rushing, stop running, stop whizzing through life. I missed my “regular” yoga class b/c I was caught up in the many moments of my wakl. How beautiful is that?
All the while I kept thinking: look how far I’ve come. I posted a while back about how far I had to go. And when I posted my 2011 review and 2012 intentions, I didn’t acknowledge a lot of the self work I’ve done. As a society we are so focused on the material things. On quantifiable accomplishments. But mine over the past two years have been quieter than that. I’ve come to know myself in the deepest ways possible. I’ve learned to accept myself, faults and all, while recognizing the areas where I could use improvement. I’ve seen my strength and learned to ask for what I need. My yoga practice has transformed from something physical into something spiritual. I’ve found my edge, played with it, and sometimes pushed it all the while learning to find calm in discomfort. There is still a lot of work for me to do. There’s a lot of forgiveness I need to give and I still feel the pressure of needing to “figure things out” in a way that fits society’s standards (and therefore many of my standards #workingonit).
I might not have a grad school acceptance letter. Hell, I might not even have a plan for May when my lease is up. But I have me and all I’ve learned and an amazing support system and the true belief that I’ll land butter side up, right where I’m supposed to be.