One of the things I tried was yoga to get through the aftermath of my divorce. So many people told me it helped them process the pain of infidelity, manage the stress of raising children alone and get centered as I rebuilt my life. It worked for them.
It did not work for me. Not even close.
Instead of my usual weepy pain filled blogs, I am going to brighten your day and talk about why yoga did not help me forgive.
I did really give it my all. I bought yoga pants, a floral yoga top and crinkly new pink yoga mat. I got an empowering purple yoga carry bag. I was styling and so excited for yoga to change my life. Brimming with enthusiasm, I entered the class to a rude shock to my system.
Everyone was skinny. Not thin, not fit, but “you need to eat some red meat, now” kinda skinny. Settling my corn-fed, red meat, vitamin rich body into place, I realized that if you are “healthy” you can’t wrap your leg around your neck because fat and muscle gets in the way – mostly fat but that’s for another blog. Your shirt rides up and it’s really hard to lift into a bridge when you have a traffic jam stalled on your belly.
Determined to make the best of it, I let my body disorder go for a while and just got into the groove. Then I noticed it smelled like sweat. Stinky, old sweat. I am really sensitive to odors and well, it just smelled bad. I tried not to focus on the stink but the moves. I was happy I could do some of them. I won’t say I was great at it.
The teacher kept saying, “Yoga is not a competition”, but by God I was going to lean further than the geriatric next to me. I was going to downward dog into sun salutation until my arms fell off because I wasn’t going to be the classroom yoga failure. No one wants to be the worst in the class, especially me. I was carried back to high school gym class and that awful moment when you worry that no one will choose you to be their partner or on their team. The more the teacher bleated on about personal best, the more competitive I got.
Until I fell over.
The teacher came over and mortified me even further by asking if this was my first time.
I was too embarrassed to answer so I just nodded. What I wanted to scream was… Yes, can’t you tell? I just fell over in front of about a hundred mirrors so I could see myself crash-land from every angle. Everyone saw. I’m pretty sure the old man next to me snickered., And by the way, my husband cheated on me then left. And I don’t know how I am going to raise these two little boys on my own. And I had to trade in my car. And I’m single, broke and out of shape. I just need adult onset acne to make my day.
Thankfully I knew enough to keep my mouth shut because if not I would have been not just “the lady who fell over in yoga” but the “CRAZY lady who fell over in yoga.”
Needless to say, I never went back. It was only years later that I was able to go to another yoga class and enjoy the session and start getting things out of it. I was too raw and too emotional and too whatever to get whatever it is that yoga gives.
The important thing I learned was that what works for other people might not work for me and that’s okay. I want you to know that a week after my yoga fiasco, I went to a Krav Maga class where you kick and punch and yell. I fell over there too. Actually, my partner knocked me down and you know what– that worked for me. It felt good. I had to throw a tantrum twice a week to get rid of my years of swallowed rage and anger. The point is to keep trying until you find what works for you.
We all have a choice in how we Bounce after life’s traumas. My question to you today is… How do you want to Bounce?