Saturday, November 8, 2014

There's No Crying in Yoga.... or is There?

I am starting to realize that everyone has their own coping mechanism when it comes to grief.

Some choose to shut down completely. Some choose to talk about it non-stop. Some keep themselves so busy that they do not have time to think about it. And some throw themselves into hobbies and projects.... The last one is definitely  me. I have always been a very busy person. I like to wake up with a purpose and I set out to accomplish certain tasks each day. I have taken on a million different projects in an effort to cope with Oliver's  death and I have also obsessively  thrown myself into one of my favorite activities... yoga.

Most people don't know that I actually took yoga courses in University. It all started when I needed some extra elective credit and found out that I could use a physical education course. It was during this time that I discovered two things about yoga. I wasn't very flexible and struggled through certain postures... and I absolutely loved it. There was something about walking into a room where every feeling of anxiety, stress and self consciousness are left at the door. It is all about bettering yourself and setting your goals for each practice knowing that each day will be different. It is about raking the time to focus on yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. It was about me.

As the years went on I continued to practice here and there. Our busy schedules, and at times budget constrictions, did  not allow me to go as often as I wanted too. When I got pregnant with Sydney, David encouraged me to go on a regular basis. I managed to practice at least once a week with both kids up into my 38th week of pregnancy and I actually attribute it to my successful  deliveries. 

After Henry was born I started attending hot yoga when I had the time. I found something soothing and healing in the heat of the yoga studio. I left every class feeling as though I had learned something about myself and what I could accomplish. When we lost Oliver I knew that yoga would once again help me find my center.

I started going back a week after his passing. I felt fine physically and knew that it would only help me to start getting into a routine. The first class back was hard. I was tired and my body hurt after being pregnant. I was struggling to find the motivation to go but was always happy once I got there. The studio was  place where I was just me. I wasn't a mother who had lost a child or a woman who needed extra emotional support. I was just me.

A week into daily practice I had a break through. I decided to attend a Thanksgiving afternoon class to try to negate all of the food I knew I would eat that night. The instructor ran the class at a blistering pace and the usual calm quiet of the studio became a room full of grunting, sighing people struggling to hold on. But something happened. I was able to keep up... barely. I was doing it. I was challenging myself and literally  sweating my ass off. As I sat there in downward dog with my sweat dripping into my nose and eyes (delicious, I know) I started to realize how strong I was, what I was capable of. Who cares if I am carrying some extra weight from having three kids, who cares if I am not flexible or I can't do a posture or two. I was strong.

During shavasana the instructor quietly talked about detoxifying. Detoxifying one's physical self and detoxifying one's emotional self. She spoke of letting go of those things that we are holding onto. Allowing ourselves to not carry around those extra burdens. Before I knew it I was crying. In that moment I was thankful that the lights were off and I was already red and sweaty from the class. I knew that I obviously needed to let go so I just let it happen. I thought of losing Oliver and how difficult  it had been. I thought of how amazing it felt to finish that class with strength. I thought of how freeing it felt to let go. It was one of the most honest moments I had had in the grieving process so far.

As I left class I had another girl tell the instructor that she had cried during shavasana as well. I felt relief to know that I wasn't the only one who was obviously effected by the last hour and it was then that I realized that there is always. crying. in. Yoga. 

Mrs. E

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