Release. A simple word. Yes, unbelievably powerful. In my journey toward my new life, finding a few breadcrumbs along the way, some are more profound than others. And some sneak up on me when I least expect it. And the other night, at yoga, a crumb snuck up on me big time. And the crumb was titled: Release.
Between starting a new job and moving to a new place, yoga fell by the wayside for a few weeks. And sadly, I’m too new to it to just jump right in, so when I finally got back to my mat Monday night, oh sweet baby jesus did it hurt! My body was screaming in protest. My muscles shook in revolt! Bending was tough, twisting was torture, and balancing, gawd, that wasn’t even going to be an option. I left feeling defeated, deflated, and exhausted…yet, proud that I’d gone.
Tuesday was a tough one at work. Very busy and a long day. I barely got home in time to change and get to yoga. I stepped on my mat, and was full of pride for dragging my ass out there. Practice began, and all was well until we got to the twisting section. Suddenly, a bout of nausea that I have never felt erupted inside every time I bent in half. The instructor said forward fold, and I tried, oh how i tried, but every time, it felt like I was going to vomit. And being the ridiculously competitive person I am, especially with myself, I refused to let my body win over my mind. I used every ounce of self control I had to push down the nausea, fight off the urge to vomit, and breathed through the pain.
I seemed to get a hold on things, and continued on with class. And all was well, until we got to the damn half pigeon pose. I bent my right leg, extended my left leg back, and leaned forward to release the tension. And somehow, released more than that.
Out of nowhere, tears began to fall from my eyes. No sobbing. No crying, just tears. A waterfall of tears cascading over my lashes, and I was unable to stop it. The tears rolled and flowed down my face. And I thought, jesus, am I working so hard that now my eyeballs are sweating? Cuz this is fucking ridiculous! And yet, the tears continued.
I closed my eyes once we reached Shavasana, and did my best to center and get the tears to stop, but they just continued on and on. Until we came out, and bowed to honor our practice, and in that bow, the tears dried up, as if they were never there. It was weird. I did not enjoy it.
I spent the evening confused, frustrated, and irritated at my inability to control my emotions. As I’ve written in past posts, overdoing emotions was really allowed in my house. Too many tears were quickly ordered to cease. I got really good at hiding how I truly felt. I am a master at pushing emotion down and away from my reality so that they are not in control of things. I literally feel incapable of fully breaking down and letting go. Elsa, I am not. Or was never allowed to be. Either way, this level of tears freaked me out.
So, I reached out to my big sis, who is a yoga instructor, to ask what the fuck happened to me in that class. And her wisdom, always being blunt and helpful in formed me that, what happened was that finally, in my yoga practice I was able to release.
She explained that certain poses, the sleeping pigeon especially, is meant to release negative energy we hold in our joints. And sometimes that release comes as nausea, other times as tears. And for me, since I wouldn’t let it release out my mouth, it released out my eyes.
Suddenly, the fear of what had happened, and the frustration made complete sense. I’ve done physical work as an actor and acting teacher that has brought up a release of emotion like that but it was usually as an empathic situation to help one of my students find new levels in their performance. Never, has it been my own release. And now, I finally had let go of crap I’d been holding on to for god knows how long.
I felt relief. I exhaled. It was freeing. Could yoga be the therapy I so desperately need? Could, while I strengthen my body, I also manage to purge it of all the, as my best friend says, tears and screams I never allowed myself to have while I was doing my daughterly duty? I think so.
I went back to yoga on Wednesday, and it neither hurt, nor did it make me cry. It did make me feel stronger. Did create stronger self pride as I went to all three of my classes this week. My dedication to my practice has been reestablished and reinvigorated. And I can’t wait to see what it will bring to me next week.
Ciao for now,