photo by Cheryl via Flickr Creative Commons

photo by Cheryl via Flickr Creative Commons

I’ve been doing yoga off and on for over a decade.

In some ways, tonight felt like my first class.

Tonight is the first time in memory that I have not had to abort a sequence to go into child’s pose multiple times during a class.

Granted, it was not a flow class, but that historically has not made a difference. Usually, no matter the class, I have to stop at least once. On top of that, this was my first yoga class in two months.

What with the reading I have been doing about trauma release, I think a lot of the sensations I perceived as being out of shape were possibly actually trauma leaving my muscles. Shaking, dizziness, hyperventilating, breaking out into a sweat from overheating….I didn’t experience any of that tonight.

It was so strange doing yoga with an already calm mind. I mostly went to release some muscle tension before I spend all day in an airport tomorrow. It was almost as if I could watch myself doing the poses instead of fighting to keep enough awareness to stay in them.

I have had an awareness that yoga was a release valve for me. But I don’t think I quite had a sense what exactly I was releasing. Energy, anxiety….but now I think it was more than that.

Time was I needed to attend a yoga class weekly to even be able to have a chance at keeping up. If I went longer than that, I was too activated to do much more than try to stop focusing on my inner chatter. But it makes sense that I was getting overwhelmed by paying the slightest attention to the sensations in my body.

It also makes sense that since I wasn’t addressing the cause of the sensations, the tightness would only return to my muscles after it was released. But perhaps doing yoga calmed me down enough over time to be able to do deeper work that I never could have done without releasing some of that tension.

It helps that now I have the strength of mind (and knowledge of the poses) to follow my breath, even if it’s shorter or longer than that of the instructor. But I’ve had that for the past several years, and still, I would have to stop.

Perhaps tonight was an aberration. Time will tell.

It’s so complex. But I’m continually astounded by all the ways my mind and body subconsciously healed themselves all these years, with only a vague awareness on my part as to why what I was doing was yielding the benefits it did.

I’m intrigued to see what my yoga practice looks like as I continue to heal with drama therapy and psychodrama. And pleased to discover the core of strength I felt in my body tonight. Perhaps its been there all along, and I just couldn’t see it until now.

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