I’ve been hesitant to find a new yoga studio in my new town/area because I have practiced in the same studio for the past 10 years, and I love it. I’ve also practiced in a few other studios and was never fully comfortable. I was OK with the other studios/classes, but they had a very different feel — different order of things, poses that didn’t flow together, a different vibe. They’ve been good studios/classes, but they weren’t MINE. They didn’t feel like the place that I knew.
I loved my yoga studio so much that I wanted to do their teacher training (in terms of money and schedule, this fall is not the time for me to start my yoga teacher training, but I know I want to do my eventual teacher training with them). O2 is still the place for me.
So today I looked around for local studios and found one that had classes today. I looked up the instructor. She had done her teacher training with my old yoga studio! And so had half of the other teachers.
I went to the 4:30 Vinyasa class. I haven’t practiced in a few months. I’ve been holding so much in for the past year and a half, which I am JUST starting to realize.
Even before the instructor arrived, when I was already on my mat, I felt at home. Like I was unquestionably in the right place.
And then Saundra walked in, and the class was more than a little different that my old studio, in some ways, but it was so, so familiar and something broke open in me and I started to cry. I tried to focus on my breathing while tears flowed and my nose ran, and it was a pretty massive emotional release. This went on for a while, me crying while moving through the various poses, occasionally grabbing my towel to wipe my face or blow my nose.
I couldn’t stop it, and I felt no need to hide it.
I kept on breathing and listening and flowing, and the emotions eventually subsided. It really felt like something had been unlocked. Something I had no control over. Like I have locked up so much over the past year and here on my mat I could finally let it out.
Let it out I did. It didn’t hurt. It just felt like stuff needed to get out from behind the wall it had been trapped behind, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Do you know that feeling? When all the stuff you’ve been holding back everywhere, including to yourself, to keep things in control, just bursts out from behind the dam, and there’s nothing you can do? And you don’t feel sad or anything but just relieved for the release and a little surprised and start to recognize how much you haven’t actually acknowledged or processed?
Oh. Sorry. Let’s get back to me on my mat. Sometimes people crying makes other people uncomfortable, even if the crying person is OK with the in-public crying and glad for the release. Let’s normalize public crying.
And let’s reach out to each other more.
* * * * *
So, weirdly, in a connected story — I’ve had back/hip problems lately, including both of my SI joints locking up so tightly and weirdly that I was crooked and my left ilium was slightly sticking out the wrong way.
Yeah. In case you wonder why I haven’t been running.
So I went to see my beloved chiropractor of the past nine years, and she tried to release my SI joints, and I totally burst into tears, surprising both of us.
It didn’t hurt. Nope. Her thought is that I hold all my stress and pain in my hips. I know that sounds hokey. But. Any time I’ve done any kind of hip release (ask me about the Yin Yoga class I did at Kripalu), I’ve had a release. It’s not hokey: Google “hip release emotion” and you’ll find many such articles like this one. Seriously, like Shakira, my hips don’t lie.
Oh and also my chiro couldn’t unlock it that first time. I had a lot going on, emotionally.
* * * *
Then I was smiling and feeling good in tonight’s class, ferociously sure, more than I’ve ever been sure of anything, that being on my mat is exactly where I need to be right now. This is the space I need more than ever. And yoga teacher training is for sure in my future, when I have the money and the schedule works out.
And until then, spending as much time on my mat as possible with this yoga community is exactly what I need. And in this space I can grow and stretch and cry and release and be safe.
Near the end of class I had another crying jag, this one not lasting as long (but seriously, if you’re going to play “Hallelujah” you have to expect some tears from someone). By the end of class, I was fully calm and peaceful and feeling more like myself than I have in so long. More in touch. More able to let go. I’ve kept up a public front for the last long while, on absolutely every front, and it had ended up extending to me — like I haven’t been honest or in touch with myself for too long.
When I thanked the instructor as I was leaving the yoga studio, she asked my name. Another instructor at the studio, who’d been in the class also, was next to her.
I introduced myself. Then I added, “I just moved to the area. I used to practice at O2.”
They both visibly reacted. “Get out of here!” Saundra exclaimed. “That’s where I did my training!”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m here,” I said. “I looked you up. And knew this was where I wanted to be.”
They both smiled at me.
“I moved here in August, but I wanted to connect to the right studio. I’ve found it.”
They took this in.
“Welcome,” Saundra said. The other instructor grinned, and I can’t wait to work with her, too.
I’ve found my new yoga studio. I feel calm just envisioning it. I’m going again tomorrow.
This is part of how I’m rebuilding me.