In 1999 when I was in college, I attended my first yoga class. It was a hatha yoga class, and although I lacked an understanding of mind- body connection I knew after each class I felt an inner calm. Even my roommate noticed a change in my mood. A sense of lightness lasted hours after the class ended.
After college ended, I continued taking yoga classes here and there, but I was not as you would say “committed” to the practice. Then in 2007, when I was 33 my world busted apart. My husband of four years died just eight weeks after being diagnosed with advanced adrenal cancer. The weeks and months that followed his funeral were filled with fear and angst. Some nights, I would startle myself out of a sleep only to find myself crying. I was actually crying during my sleep.
Upon the advice of family and close friends, I returned to my full- time job within weeks of my husband’s death. And each morning, my heart was in my throat. I had difficulty even controlling my breath, and then it dawned on me that I needed to return to private yoga classes.
Within days of this realization I was on the mat. I briefly told the yoga teacher why I was there with her, and she immediately sensed my vulnerability. As she slowly began to work with my fragility through various postures and poses my rib cage began to open and tears started to flow. The grief caused constriction within my body and yoga created an openness, and it is here on the mat that my healing began.