I took today off of work to go to restorative yoga. It was like the closure to a week of celebrations and saying goodbye to self-injury. Typically, I only take time off of work to go to this yoga class when I’m really anxious and/or suicidal. It was nice to be able to just go to yoga. I wasn’t going with any purpose other than to just be there.
The teacher of this restorative class is probably one of my favorites. She’s super knowledgeable about restorative yoga, has creative sequences, but also does a lot of work with veterans and has a good bit of awareness around PTSD in a yoga class. She’s usually right on cue with redirecting the class to their breath when my mind starts to wander or I start thinking about trauma stuff. Today, I didn’t think about trauma stuff at all during class, which was amazing. We did lots of backbends and twists. My favorites.
Towards the end of class, a song came on. Music can totally change the way you’re feeling in a split second. There was a flute playing harshly in the background. At first, I could tune it out, but then I couldn’t anymore. My heart rate got faster and I couldn’t focus on my breath anymore. My eyes opened and I was 6 again, on the porch with wind chimes clanging in the background. The music stopped. New song. This is how awesome my yoga teacher is: she got up and changed the song based on my reaction to it. Then, she came over and asked if I was ok. I nodded, said thank you, and settled back into my breath and my pose.
In today’s class, one of the quotes my teacher read had to do with being at peace and accepting the joys and the sufferings that we encounter in life. I couldn’t keep the tears from coming. I spent so much of my life not wanting to accept the trauma that I went through. Even now, I still have days where I try to convince myself that it wasn’t real – especially when I get new memories. Getting to a place of acceptance was, and still sometimes is, a very challenging process for me. Today’s class reminded me that finding peace means finding the courage to accept my past for what it is.
I have so much gratitude for where I am today and the people who have helped along this journey.
PS: My love for my new Athleta yoga leggings ($20 on Black Friday!) and boots is excessive 😜😍