Thursday, June 6, 2013

Practice Log: Sunshine and Enlightenment. Not.

So, just in case you think that every yoga class ends with bliss, sunshine, and enlightenment, let me assure you that some do not.

Like tonight's vinyasa class.

I was really ready for it. I had a mild anxiety attack this afternoon, which I have to wonder was something that was released by the restorative yoga session this morning. I found myself sitting in front of the computer, crying into the keyboard as I finished a blog for work, for no apparent reason.

Lunch gave me horrific heartburn, also for no apparent reason. When I thought I was about to completely freak out over the burning and burping, I remembered the poses in the Iyengar book from the library that were recommended for indigestion. So I rolled out my mat and did some extended triangle pose and some extended side angle pose. That felt better, and I sat back down to work, counting the minutes until vinyasa class tonight.

Everything started out okay, but then when we got to the lunges, I just collapsed..

My back legs were not strong. My front thighs burned. I couldn't hold the pose. I felt weak. I was having more of that gnawing pain under my right rib, the "gallbladder" pain that they diagnosed 2 years ago because they couldn't find anything else.

And I was so. frustrated.

There I was, on my brand new mat, and I felt like I couldn't even enjoy it. I was pissed. I was frustrated. I finally gave up and dropped my knee during the lunges just so that I wouldn't fall over. During pigeon pose, I just let it all go and started to cry again. There I was, bent over my knee and my hip, feeling like everything was just coming down on me all at once.

In final savasana, I laid there and my mind would not rest. It kept traveling to that area under my right ribs. I got so frustrated, I imagined taking a knife to whatever green and gunked up crap was in there and just cutting it all out, shoveling it out with a rusty, sharp spoon, and throwing it away.

That whole santosha thing? Not happening tonight.

I cried on the way home.

Where was all the strength and power that I've been cultivating these last six months? Where was my ability to be still, to calm my mind?

Completely out the window, apparently.

On the way home, my monkey mind said to me, "This yoga stuff isn't working. Quit. Quit now."

But of course, I can't quit. I won't.

My rational mind says, you only want to quit because you're afraid - you're afraid that it's working. You're actually a little bit afraid of getting your life back. But there's no payoff in staying stuck. You're probably about to discover something really big, and you're just really afraid of that.

So, I won't quit.

What I'll probably do is let myself feel like crap tonight. Maybe I'll even have a cookie after Colden goes to bed. Then I'll stay up and either download a new book on the Kindle or I'll go back and flip through my Iyengar book or my yoga sutras book.

Then, tomorrow, after I drop Colden off at his grandparents' house and I meet the last of my deadlines, I will light some incense, turn on some gentle music, roll up the rug in the living room, and throw my mat down.

Hell, I'll probably throw my mat down before breakfast.

But for now, where's that damn cookie...


  1. With all that is going on with you and the disappointment of this week it has all just gotten to you. It isn't yoga not working it isn't because you are weak it is totally because it has finally all hit you! Sending all the hugs I can!!!!

  2. I think sometimes bodywork of any kind can bring up so many things on so many levels -- things that you don't know you're actually working on but your body does. I had a similar experience after a massage once. It scared me because it was so intense. I walked to my car and puked in the gutter and then sat in my car and cried for an hour. My shrink (an LCSW) helped me understand that it was these things coming up all at once. I had to get it out. So I threw up and cried. I don't even know what these "things" were but didn't need to know. Does this make sense? I hope so. I hope it helps some, too.