I plowed through days 1-15 with excitement and vigor. Then somewhere around days 14-19 I got hit by the yoga truck. Exhausted. Sore. Defeated. Due to a family emergency, I missed Days 20-21. Rest and respite filled with guilt over not making it to a hot yoga class. Day 22 at Hot Yoga Revolution, with Erica Jung (who is swiftly becoming one of my favorite teachers) and the yoga truck was back.
I questioned whether or not I should honestly share my feelings in this blog. They’re raw, a little dark and not all unicorns and rainbows. But you have to fight through the muck for your lotus flower to bloom, so I’m laying my muck out on the line.
I feel defeated.
I look at my fingertips like they’re not even mine anymore. They barely touch the mat at my feet in forward fold. Once upon a time, a mere 22 days ago, my palms were flat. The lofty goal of lengthening my hamstrings is shattered. The knots are tighter than ever. And there’s a searing pain in my left hamstring when I correct my alignment searching for the internal rotation I need for a forward fold.
22 days of yoga and my body should feel strong and supple. Instead, I feel tight, I feel defeated and I don’t know my body anymore.
I’ve turned into The Cryer in my yoga classes. You all know what I am talking about. The person that breaks down during some intense hip opener or in savasana, sobbing away on their mat. I guess my one saving grace is that contrary to my facebook activity or blog posts, I tend to be a very private person. I keep my crying to myself. The tears pour down my face in forward fold. It’s a hot class so they’re easily disguised as beads of sweat. The only dead give away is my runny nose, but crying snot bubbles can easily be attributed to the fall season.
Crying in yoga happens. I used to say it wasn’t a good (emotional) class unless someone cried. Our bodies hold emotions in certain places and when we are “working” on them or with them, they release feelings or emotions. Sometimes it’s a stress release, not a particular indication of sadness. Sometimes it’s old emotions trapped in the body. And sometimes you just cry because it’s the only where you feel safe to do so. Silently. Pretending your tears are beads of sweat.
I desperately miss my first yoga teacher, Kathy Keane. If I were practicing with Kathy, she would say something like “Terra, your hamstrings begin at your sits bones. Your forward fold illuminates your first chakra, you need to let go of X,Y and Z emotions and your fold will easily deepen.” Then she would tell me to lay on my belly and breathe deeply as she dug her foot and toes under my left gluteus searching for the beginning of my hamstring. The pressure point would be intense and then the emotional pop would come. I would feel a warm release deep in my hamstrings and then the tears would flow.
I guess I’ve always been the yoga cryer.
Without Kathy, I am left to my own devices. My own healing. My own intuitive knowledge of my body and the history of my emotions. I am confused. The easy way out is gone. I have to dig through the muck on my own.
“There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.” ~Elizabeth A. Behnke