“Written in these walls are the stories that I can’t explain, I leave my heart open but it stays empty for days” – The Story of My Life by One Direction
For those who are close to me and know me well, know that I’ve endured quite a bit of ups and downs throughout my entire life, just as I’m sure everyone has. And just like many, I have had to endure the restless nights of tears, the moments of “Why do I deserve this?”, the view of the narrow hallway that seems to narrow in on more trauma. Those moments where you are so hurt on the inside that your body just can’t find anymore energy to want to do anything else but sleep. There was a time that I was in such a dark place that I found myself for 3 weeks staying in bed and sleeping and I would only wake up in order to go to work and occasionally eat when I felt like I should.
When you find a way out of that dark space, you start to look at life a lot differently. I started to see outside of the box, past the judgment of others and past the judgment I had of myself. That narrow tunnel then became a wall length window that showed all of life’s possibilities just waiting on the other side of the glass. I found myself starting to become hopeful looking for the door to the outdoors to explore all these possibilities.
That door was my first yoga practice. I still remember it and reflect on that moment of peace I had found within myself. A dear friend, Iryna, convinced me to go to a Karma class with her. I was convinced by the idea that the $5 it cost for the class would go to charity. I was unsure of the social norms of the class. “Where do I put my mat? Am I lying down how I’m suppose to? Are my feet suppose to be on the mat or off the mat? oh my! I think I just fell asleep, I hope no one heard me snore”.
The yoga teacher’s voice was very soothing and encouraging. I found the poses very challenging and introspective. The water dripping down my face, for the first time in a long time was grounding soulful sweat and not tears. The real introspect came when we got down to pigeon pose. Now anyone who practices yoga, will understand that pigeon pose is a hip opener and our hips are a place in our body where we hold emotional energy/tension. When it was time to get into pigeon pose, the teacher dimmed the lights and I closed my eyes, bowing down into sleeping pigeon, really feeling my body. I felt comfort in the uncomforting; I felt the letting go of what I had been holding onto for so long. In that moment all I felt was that moment; just me and my mat. The world didn’t exist, the class didn’t exist, and Iryna, though I knew she was there to support me, I naturally felt the support coming from my internal self.
Class finished off by lying in Savasana. For the first time, life made sense. I found the strength in my soul, I felt my soul shine bright. In that moment I had let go of my fears, found love for myself, I was ok with being vulnerable and I knew that yoga, whatever it meant for the future, in this present moment reflected exactly where I belong.
“And I’ll be gone, gone tonight. The ground beneath my feet is open wide. the way that I’ve been holding on too tight with nothing in between.” The Story of My Life by One Direction
The details of my past need not be reiterated but the flowering of my soul, I hope to inspire others. No matter how hard life gets and how dark the room feels, know that the lotus flower blooms from even the muddiest waters.