July 8, 2014
While my days of instructing yoga are not so long ago, I feel a million miles away from the familiarity of it. Honestly, I can’t say if it was the death of my boyfriend several years ago that began the distancing or if I would have met the voice of insecurity eventually yelling “What the hell were you thinking that you could teach yoga!” Perhaps the distance has something to do with the direct connection to that shy and fearful second grader in me. Poor little girl couldn’t say a peep when she was feeling insecure.
My first attempt back to yoga was to take a class with my favorite teacher. That abruptly ended with the first forward bend and panic of fainting. I tried to stick with it and breathe through my racing heart. Breathe through my strong desire to run out the door. Breathe through the thought that I was surely about to faint. My desire won. Quietly, I rolled up my mat and tip-toed out the door. I wrote my teacher a note and left it at the at the front desk for her. Months later I saw her at a gathering and sheepishly approached her about the emotionally raw note. She light heartedly said, “Well of course yoga is terrifying after a loved ones death and having to face all those emotions inside.”
For some, yoga can be the very thing that gets them through. But for me, it brought me closer to myself and I didn’t want to be close to myself. Because myself was feeling emotions unfamiliar and scary to me. Myself was experiencing uncontrollable crying. Uncontrollable panic. Uncontrollable and eventually annoying grief. It was frustrating to want to get on with my life and grief not allow it.
Hearing my yoga teacher tell me so casually that what was happening to me was normal made me feel so much better. I don’t really remember how I started attending yoga classes again. It must have just happened without realizing it was something I feared. Like diving into refreshing water, I came home again to myself-the self who loved my body in the mindset of yoga.
I was asked to sub for my favorite teacher from one of the other students. It was asked in such a way that I couldn’t say no. It has pushed me to go where I would not push myself. And I’m grateful. It pushed me to the place I’d forgotten about. The place in me that gets fired up about sharing yoga. Giving what I’ve received from yoga.
So, I’m happy to say I’m beginning again, to instruct a yoga class. Sunday mornings. It’s like my church :). Perhaps you’ll join me. Namaste.