I went to a yoga class this week that saved me. It’s why I go, most of the time. To be rescued from myself or to find a way back to my center. Sometimes I go because I need to move my body and shake some things off, quiet the chatter, get back to grounded. Sometimes I just go to sweat. But I’ve learned that when I am particularly harried, when my edges feel frayed and jagged, when I start to get short with everyone, when I lose any and all perspective so much that I cry thinking there may not be enough coffee, I go to yoga to fix myself. Since we’ve lived at residence #4 of the year, where we are not surrounded by many of our belongings, including our own bed, I haven’t slept very well. We have a king sized bed. Downgrading in size once you’ve had the sprawling luxury of a king sized bed feels criminal. It’s like having to go back to coach once you’ve had a taste of first class, every single night. I do not care to hide my snobbery for the king sized bed. I cherish the perfect luxuriousness of building a four pillow fort around me to support the best possible sleep inducing arrangement of limbs and joints and air flow. I need to be able to sleep a far distance away from my husband in order for us to keep from vaporizing from the heat oven that is my body.
We’ve been sleeping in a very, very, very much appreciated double bed. It is the bed of the owners of the house, and they are sleeping on the pull out couch so that we can sleep in it. I appreciate this bed.
But it is not my bed.
So, I have an arsenal of sleep aids as well as a somewhat religious routine that I go through in order to woo my mind and body to dream land every night. Some nights it works. More of than not, when Ryan comes to bed four or so hours after I started trying, I spit fire at him for disturbing whatever progress I may have made on my way down. It is in these moments that i am sure he feels as though he made a great choice in marrying me. The girl who violently whispers “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” every single time he crawls into bed, as though it’s never happened before, this bed sharing thing. As though I am disgusted that he consider coming to sleep near me, in my bed, where I lay not so peacefully trying to put myself to sleep - what an ASSHOLE.
Needless to say, it’s tough once in a while when you couple lack of sleep, or very bad sleep, with a few major life stressors, a baby, and being female.
One morning this week I felt myself coming unglued. I asked Ryan if I could go to yoga, and would he watch Alma, and he saw the need on my face and recognized that there was only one possible answer to this question, and I went.
I’ve generally felt much better these days. I can manage myself and life and I don’t cry all the time. This is somewhat significant and sometimes I want to pinch myself when I’m walking in the early morning and the air is chilled, the red leaves have started to show, and I take in big, long, deep, full belly breaths of ocean air. I want to pinch myself because I realize I am ok. Really ok. And it’s not because things have fallen into place; in fact, if I pay attention to the list of things that are not going well (income, home, money, home, money, income) it feels incongruous with my level of peace and fear. I think, I should be a little less peaceful and a little more terrified. But I’m just not. Maybe it’s a function of time. Maybe I am growing up. Or maybe having all the images of what I thought my life was like basically fall away has made me less afraid of everything. Perhaps I’m just cracking up.
But on this day, and the days leading up to it, I felt myself drifting off. I went to this class, and I know the instructor by now; she’s fierce and feisty and tough. I really love her classes, even when I’m hating them.
I got out of class, received a sweet email from one of my friends and he let on that he’d been going through some things around loneliness and belonging and had been quiet as a result. This is part of what I wrote back as sometimes people ask my why I do yoga, and I can never quite articulate it well. Sometimes it’s just a way to move my body, like running or swimming or dancing around. Sometimes it is much more.
"Well, I obviously don’t know exactly what you mean specifically, but I do. It seems to never end, even when you think you’ve done all the work. I think we just get better at not taking it so seriously, or perhaps we just better understand that it’s a process. The good news is, you’ve got a lot of tools at your disposal :). Loneliness is one of the toughest to feel and not drown in, for me. Even when - especially when - you’re not necessarily "alone".
I took a yoga class this morning; I found one instructor here that I really like, so I try to get to her class once a week. I knew it was going to be a tough one for me - I was overtired and all over the place emotionally - the story this week. But I’m sure you’ve experienced it time and time again, when you take a class that seems to be exactly, exactly what you need, physically and otherwise. It kicked my butt but through the sequencing and what she happened to say today, it brought me to a place I realized I’d been searching for for a long, long time. And I realized I was no longer afraid of whatever was going to happen. It’s a long winding story but I think the past two years, and especially the past 8 months, I’ve been tossed around so much in order to get there. It felt like in a few moments all the pieces, the circuitous and seemingly nonsensical way things have gone, all came into focus at once. And I thought, yoga has sort of saved my life in this way.”