I love crying on my yoga mat. That’s right- you read that correctly- sobbing uncontrollably on my mat makes me happy. Very often, when something is bothering me, I set the intention for my yoga practice to clear the sadness I am feeling around whatever has come up for me.
Yesterday, I still had some unresolved grief over the loss of the relationship with my ex-boyfriend. Just when I think I am over it, there are unexpected triggers and I realize that grief is a never ending well. So, I set the intention to breathe and move through the yoga poses in order to release it.
After a vigorous hot vinyasa practice, I finally surrender into the hip opener pigeon pose. The tears come pouring out of me like Niagara Falls. My yoga teacher tells the class that the hips are the junk drawers of our bodies which store a lot of our negative emotions. “Really? NO shit,” I think to myself sobbing like a wounded child.
She tells us that it is very uncomfortable for a lot of people in this pose. “Really, now? I hadn’t noticed!”
“Breathe, she says. Breathe through the discomfort.”
Does she know I am wailing? Does she see me hyperventilating?
As the tears flowed out of my eyes, they cleansed my soul, releasing the anger at him, the grief over the loss of the relationship and the sadness at the realization that I it didn’t work out the way I hoped. I was hysterically crying with my sweaty face planted into my towel, everyone oblivious to my release.
And that is the beauty of the yoga mat. It is my world for the duration of the practice. It is sacred space for me to push myself to my edge, surrender to the feelings I am feeling, breathe through them and know that the discomfort won’t last.
Yesterday, it was the place where I was able to release the stored anger and grief in my body. And at the end of savasana, I sat up with my hands to my heart in gratitude. I was grateful to him- to the lessons I learned in the relationship about myself and bowed my head while saying, “Namaste.”
Namaste means “the light in me honors the light in you.” While our souls are not meant for a lifetime union, I recognize the lessons learned from the relationship and applaud the strength it took for me to end it.
At the end of class, I use my towel to wipe the tears off my mat, cleaning the space of despair. I throw these tears into the basket with all the other towels. As I exit the yoga studio, I knowing I have made room for joy within my body, healed my soul with hope and cleared the way for love to grow again.
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