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My Embarrassing Yoga Story

Hi and Welcome to The Art of Onward!

I want to share with you a rather embarrassing night of my recovery journey. My Yoga story.

(and here I pause ... where to begin...deep breath...)

A year and a half before the "event", my then-husband gifted me with a beginner Yoga class. To me, it was a way to carve out purposeful time together - and alone - once a week as we headed out to the class. Great studio, lovely teacher. Learned so much. We were introduced to several types of practices and practiced basic flows for each one. We found a studio closer to home after we felt we could follow along in a regular class.

I soon was introduced to a type of yoga called YIN, or Restorative. This is a slower paced practice, where poses are held for anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. This new studio offered these classes just before bedtime, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. A great way to come down from the day, regain some oxygen in those muscles and lungs and calm the mind in preparation for sleep.

Immediately following that awful July 10th 2015, I stopped everything. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I really could only focus on getting through the day alive, and breathing.

A few months later, though, I had such a strong desire to return to something I loved to do - outside the house. Away from eyes or ears and to just be. This was during the time I could not even buy groceriest, I would find myself staring at shelves, for 10, 20, 30 minutes at a time.

So to return to the yoga studio was a big step for me. I yearned for that self care though, and decided to go around mid September. I somehow got my mat, water bottle, appropriate clothes, and went to join the 9 pm class. I was excited and so scared - well, self conscious, like somehow my pain was tattooed throughout my aura as well as on my forehead - just finding parking was a coup for me that night.

The class began, and I forced my body to respond to my commands as the teacher led us through the exercises. They diffuse lemongrass throughout the studio during practice (yes, that is where my love affair with lemongrass began - it's a safe and healthy state of mind/being for me) and the dim room, smell and calm, guiding voice, touched me deeply with a sense of security as the class continued.

Stretching my tense muscles for the first time in months, hip openers and jaw relaxation - it hurt. At this point I was still waking up from grinding my teeth at night, I was awaking in the morning to find myself curled in to a human ball of tension. Everything hurt and everything was bound in painful spasms. I couldn't turn my head farther than about 15 degrees and still couldn't open my mouth wide enough to eat a sandwich. This gives you an idea of my physical state at this time.

And now YIN Yoga practice. Dim room, quiet voices, slow long stretches. Like heaven, except not. It was too soon.

Part way through the class, the tears began to stream down my face. I couldn't stop them. I spent the rest of the practice swallowing my sobs so as not to disturb the other people in the room. I was so done with the tears, and I was beginning to get annoyed with myself. And my throat hurt from trying so hard not to cry.