Yoga classes are like church services for me in that they are a time when I am open and honest and vulnerable with my self. Last summer, I was dealing with some challenges, and being with the heaviness of those challenges in the rawness of yoga was too much. It had moved from discomfort to pain, and it stung. I had to stop attending classes for awhile.
And that’s ok.
In yoga, the whole point is your breath. In vinyasa flow yoga, teachers will tell you that if your breathing becomes too labored during practice, if you can’t maintain that steady, long inhale & exhale, come back to child’s pose, where you lay your forehead on the mat, chest draped over your knees. All tucked into a safe cocoon, resting your weight on the earth, sinking back into a rhythmic breath. Because yoga isn’t how far you can lift your leg in the air or behind your head. It’s breathing.
Not going to yoga class for awhile was my returning to child’s pose.
It was easing up for as long as it took for me to catch my breath. As long as it took for things to become lighter again.
Of course, it was also a sign. When things are heavy, it can mean an opportunity for us to grow stronger. It can also indicate that something needs to change. Sometimes, as it was in this case, it is both.
Last week, I gave myself a present of a month-pass to yoga. I’ve been to several classes since then, and it feels so, so good to be in that room again, breathing, expanding, being strong.
Breathe with me, wherever you are. Let your breath carry comfort to the hidden places where pain is stuck. Let it open you up to possibilities, those you can dream of and those you can’t, for joy and wellbeing.
Breathe with me.
PS I call this image Tree Pose with Trees. The best kind of tree pose. Obviously.