Things I Never Expected from Yoga – No. 3…

That it would bring up ‘stuff’ when I least expect it…

I had been fine all day. Chirpy, even.  The news hadn’t come as a surprise and it felt like such a relief that it was finally out in the open….

Buoyant, I bounce along in the early evening sunshine as I head to my regular class at my yoga home.  I think about the events of the day and the exciting possibilities ahead.

Happily on the mat in class, all is good.  And I feel strong.  Centred.  Then, after the first set of balancing something happens.  I feel very dizzy.  I come into child’s pose before I fall over.  Resting there for a few breaths I think I must just be having a bad day with the heat. I try to join back in with the class but almost instantly I feel overwhelmed, then nauseous, then… very emotional.  I never have the urge to leave the room during a class, but in that moment it’s all I want to do.  A mental battle ensues… I stay.

In half-pigeon with my forehead on the mat tears race to my eyes.  I fight them back.  Where have these tears come from…?!  We reach tree posture and I can’t even raise my foot to my ankle, never mind my calf or inner thigh.  Once more, I feel as though I am going to topple over, so I take child’s pose again, if only to avoid falling sideways and ‘taking out’ my poor unsuspecting neighbour.  It’s almost as though some invisible force is pushing me over every time I try to get up.  I don’t understand why I feel like this…

My teacher looks concerned, asks if I am alright and very kindly offers me some coconut water.  I tell her I am fine.  Just a bit dizzy. I think. 

Then, during the first Savasana of the class I am swamped by a strange mix of emotions.  Once more tears race to my eyes and this time I can’t stop them.  Again, I want to run out of the room but instead I lie there and try to focus on my breath as best I can.  My mind is racing…  I seem to make it through the rest of the class but it’s all a bit hazy.

After class I speak to my teacher who asks again if I am okay.  I start explaining that I felt really dizzy, then overwhelmed and then… I start sobbing uncontrollably.    Right there.  In the changing rooms.  In front of my teacher, I go into the ‘Ugly Cry’ (as Oprah calls it).  I am mortified and confused and unable to speak.  We go to the loos and when I get my breath back all I can do is apologise to my teacher for bursting into tears.  Through the sobs I eventually manage to explain I’ve had a bit of a weird day and that I was told that morning I am being made redundant.  But I don’t understand why I am crying – I’d already known it was coming, reconciled it in my head and ultimately know this is one of the best things that could happen for me right now. 

I am stunned because this has never happened to me in a yoga class before.  My teacher is very kind and reassures me that this is more common than I might think.  Emotions are a funny thing.  I’d had no idea that this ‘stuff’ was there.  I realise it was good to come and practice that day – what’s happened has helped me release some of the tension that’s been building up inside over the past several months.   And with some significant changes on the horizon – some exciting, some scary – I sense that practicing will help me in the coming months too.  It makes me feel even more grateful for the gift of yoga in my life.

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