on the mat is a state of mind
you have saved me from myself. Thanks so much,
I have spent the better part of the last week freaking out – about various things – but my worried response has been far from appropriate given the situation(s). I have been reading in Meditations about Brahmacaraya (yes, still) -yet all of Mr. Gates’ amazing insights into moderation and whatnot have fallen on deaf ears. I have been completely unable to hear the zen sound bites I spew at everyone else in times of trouble.
Monday morning I planted myself on my mat, determined to silence the fear and anxiety. I wanted a hot, sweaty class to beat it out of me. No dice. We had a different teacher who led a very calm, quiet, cool flow without one drop of sweat. Ugh.
I went for a run around my neighborhood for the better part of an hour.
I went to work for a few hours and sprinted back to class at 7 to give it one more go.
Tuesday I called in recruits. My very wise and sage friend pointed out that there is no real world evidence that anything I was worried about had actually happened or would actually happen. The cycle I was stuck in was the product of my own imagination and an evil trick that I was playing on myself. She asked me to look at the facts, and to remember to be kind to myself in times of discomfort. She reminded me that I am a strong, intelligent woman with so many accomplishments. The universe is not just going to drop me on my ass.
I felt better. So much better, in fact, that I went to yoga solely in pursuit of a buzz and nothing more. I was just there, for me.
As Conni led us into a very powerful practice, I began to feel better. I began to see the truth in my friend’s words.
About an hour into class, we moved into a modified camel pose that opened something in my back, and in my mind, and suddenly, everything was clear. I saw the constructs of my imagination for what they are: bullshit. I saw the situation I was in for what it was: totally under my control. I was suddenly out of my head and back in my body, in my place of actual, real world strength. I powered through the rest of the class on a high that came from knowing that I have the ability to control my thoughts, to control my emotions, that everything that I think and feel is a choice. I had been able to check my crap at the door and think of nothing but what I was doing with my body for 90 minutes. I realized this as I hit the mat for savasana, and I couldn’t help the tears that rolled down the sides of my face from pure relief.
There is something that I say to my patients all the time: our biography becomes our biology. The things that we feel and experience are recorded in our bodies. Yoga allows us to peel away the time, rejuvenating our tissues, releasing old issues and emotions. This gives us the opportunity to free ourselves from those things that are no longer a part of who we are.
So I think that I’ve peeled back to when I was 12, the height of my insecurity and vulnerability. A few years before, my family had moved to a new town and I’d started at a new school where I never felt like I fit in. I was tall and felt overbearing. It was my greatest fear that I would be annoying or imposing in some way, so I kept to myself and tried to appear as small as possible. This also resulted in poor posture – which I am currently working on with a chiropractor – no doubt releasing more of the junk that I hid away during those years. So this is what I’m going through at Day 50: realizing that I am not that girl anymore, but that I still have to treat her with kindness and love. She is still a part of my history, and without her I wouldn’t be able to see how far I’ve come.