The other day, the stars aligned. I arrived at the studio, tongue pressed to the roof of my mouth, willing myself not to give into the tears because if I started, I didn’t trust that I could stop. And I couldn’t explain why I was crying. It wouldn’t make sense if spoken out loud. I signed in, chatted, smiled, and told myself that I had successfully weathered the storm.
I settled into sama vritti, the muscles of my face softened. I focused on the even inhale & exhale, 4-4, 6-6, 8-8. Tears began to well up, just around my eyes at first. I let them be. They began to roll down my face. I wanted to get up & leave. Excuse myself to collect myself. But part of me knew to stay. And my dear teacher kept the practice moving. Nadi Shodhana. A little energy medicine via tapping. And into our calming breath.
Then it was time for our sit. I again dropped in. And I began to cry. Again. So subtle. Once or twice, my breath caught, threatening to go into that heaving cry but the stillness of the space invited me to stay with the subtle. Stay with the experience rather than moving into the performance. All parts welcome. I felt my face grow hot as I remembered the others that sat with me. I wanted to flee but I remembered that I deserved to stay—this was it, this was why I was here. Rarely am I aware of what I feel, what I need, but in this moment I wanted to be scooped up, held close. I wanted the shame, doubt, & fear to be gently wiped away. So I sat.
As we came out of stillness & back into the room, our teacher spoke about how parents can recover from moments of losing it, pull a child close, & rewire the shame. Why hadn’t anyone done this for me? I felt betrayed. And then I remembered, this is why I practice. To do this for myself.