Posted in yoga

“Yoga Could Save Me, If I’d Let It.”

I’ve been writing for a long time: diaries when I was a girl, journals when I was in college and beyond, and now still the journals and this blog.  Today I went back to my first blog, one I made for a college class assignment.  I wrote all the code, inserted graphics and pictures and got a “A.”

One of my first entries on this virgin blog was entitled “Yoga Could Save Me, If I’d Let It.”

It was all about how I had just gone through 3 weeks of hell teaching HS English and had to bail on my weekly yoga class due to after-school commitments.  I was tooling along really well, though, getting my lessons planned and taught, dealing with parents, going to IEP meetings, dodging air-born shrimp poppers during cafeteria duty, waving at school buses from the curb outside the school during “bus duty.” Everything was fine ‘n dandy, but I wasn’t making it to yoga.  Just. Too. Busy.

And then a little window of time opened up and I was able to make it back to my weekly class in Elmira.  It was the week before Christmas too, and I marveled at the fact that somehow, in that most frantic week of the year, I was able to  find my way back.

It was a crazy-scary backbend class.  Wheel and Camel were the featured postures.  I felt slightly dizzy and nauseous the whole time.  I couldn’t find my body, which sounds bizarre, I know, but if you’ve ever practiced for any time at all, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Yoga makes you so aware. You become aware not just of bones and muscles and tendons, but of cells!  Really. I kid you not.  It’s the most amazing thing.  There’s this intimacy that starts to build, this knowing.  It’s like a deep friendship, or like a love-relationship you start to have with your body.  Over time, it gets really intense.

So when all this stops suddenly because you get busy, it feels so abrupt, so uncalled for.  It’s as if the body cries out, “What did I do wrong??”

And you just choose to ignore it.

I drove to Elmira that night and did that crazy backbend practice then fell into a sweaty heap for savasana.  The teacher played an instrumental version of  “Silent Night,” and for the full ten minutes of savasana I wept.  Hot, hot tears streamed from the corners of my eyes down into my ears into my hair.

In those teary moments I flashed on fragments of difficult parent/teacher conversations from the recent weeks. I saw pinched little faces peering out from behind grimey school bus windows. I saw myself, head in hand, red-penning my way through mountainous stacks of  incomprehensible student essays, wailing in frustration.

And then I backed up and saw myself, lying on the floor, in that dark yoga room, listening to Silent Night.

I felt my body “come to” like an unconscious person does from a coma.  For the first time in weeks. I knew myself again.  I was back, rejoined. My body unclenched, let out a sigh, and returned to me.

And I cried, as I always do whenever I read, or watch a movie about a reconciliation after a long estrangement.

“Yoga could save you, if you’d let it, Kath.”  That’s what I heard in my head  that night.  “All you have to do is let it.”

Tonight one of my students came back to class after having been away for a few weeks.  Afterward, she said something to the effect of, “How did I ever manage to stay away for so long??”

All I could say was, “I know.”

Because I did.

Author:

I’m a small town yoga teacher who says motherfucker a lot. I hate anything woo. I’m into neuroscience. And facts. I’ll lead the chanting of “om” sometimes, but it makes me feel awkward. I want to access flow states. As far as yoga helps me do that, I’m into it. Dopamine is my fave neurotransmitter. Don’t tell anyone I told you this.

6 thoughts on ““Yoga Could Save Me, If I’d Let It.”

  1. Kathleen:

    Very nice description of what it means to practice a discipline and then to leave that discipline.

    I have also had that “approach-avoidance” issue with meditation, sports, and a bunch of other things. Life can be so full of challenges, no?

    Yes, returning to yoga after some time can be a painful experience, but it is also worth it, me thinks. Sticking to it and making it a habit is worth the time, energy and money.

    In my case, I ended up thanking myself for taking the trouble: the blood, sweat and tears, as the saying goes, are worth it. And I feel much better for having taken the time from my busy schedule.

    Like any investment, there is a pay-off, and hope you feel much better after returning to your calling. Here’s wishing you all the best for yoga!

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  2. Yoga is saving me, Kath. I try to find my edge in everything I do now and the ease into it. I have learned that I do love ME, instead of listening to my brain ramble on, I am encouraging myself, whether it is life’s crazy game of dodgeball or sweating and shaking through warrior poses.
    I am still a couple thousand miles away from saying, “yum” in pigeon though!

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  3. Wow, Kath thank you for putting that out there. As you know about 7 weeks ago I started taking the time for “me” and “yoga”. It had been a long time since I looked inside and as you know the first night I showed up I was a complete mess!!! After 6 weeks practicing with you and looking back at “me” I am so aware of that girl I love. Yoga and especially a good yoga teacher help you become so much more aware of what you need for self-fulfillment, health, and happiness. Yoga is saving me too, thanks to you Kath. I’ve cried a little, laughed a little, and opened a lot! I love this new journey with “me” and I will keep listening to go farther. Thank you so much Yoga Momma.

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    1. Laura,
      You will go far with this, you will. Thank you so much for the great compliment, but as Shiva Rea once said, ‘I am just the river guide. Yoga is the river and it will take you where you need to go.” Still and all, thanks. Your words mean a lot to me.
      K.

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