My husband got home at 4:09 this afternoon so that I could go to a restorative yoga class. I had to leave by 4:10 to make it to the class, find a parking spot, and claim “my spot” in the studio. This class was coincidentally taught by my therapist tonight.
I walked in with my anxiety at a 10 (still). I was one of the first ones there. It helps me to get settled and not feel stressed out if I arrive early and get set up, and then just focus on being. I chatted with my shrink some and then sat, anxiously watching the room fill with people.
We got into our first pose: side-lying position. I could feel the anxiety radiating from my top to bottom. It was almost painful to lay this way, but I’m not sure why. I couldn’t find a way to steady my breathing; I couldn’t make the shaking stop. Switch sides. I can’t get comfortable. My arm hurts…or maybe it just wants me to cut….I can’t tell. Why can I not stop shaking?!
We finally switched poses. A twist. In this second pose, I was finally able to be still. I could finally steady my breath. I was calming down. I was going to be ok. But then I wasn’t. I had a flashback in this pose – first time ever. It’s probably because my anxiety is so incredibly high. For a few seconds, I wasn’t on my yoga mat anymore. I was in the woods and he had just finished raping me. The woman next to me stirred. No – I’m not little anymore; I’m an adult and I’m not in the woods; I am safe.
We switched sides on our twist. I found my breath again and all was ok. The shaking stopped. We eventually moved into restorative fish, a pose I have struggled with. I set my intention and got into the pose. Eyes closed tight. I am safe; I am loved. I did well in this pose considering how high my anxiety was…until the people next to me started moving. And then I wasn’t ok. There were too many distractions for me to focus on my breath and mantra. My mind wandered and I was little again. I had another unusual flashback in class tonight. I was in a wide legged forward fold….except with my legs up the wall. I love the stretch of this pose and never have issues with it. However, I got out of my meditative state (and the pose) with a gasp that I’m pretty sure everyone in the room heard. Back in the woods. I don’t know why this memory keeps coming up tonight. I’ve literally spent months working through this one. It must just be because my anxiety is already so high.
At some point we got into a restorative child’s pose. I buried myself under my blanket and sandbags. I am safe. But then my therapist started talking about impermanence. She said that when things are going well, we should work to remain present and enjoy it, because it will not last forever. In that same respect, when things are not going well, we need to remember that nothing is permenant. I lost it. I couldn’t even find the energy to try to make the tears stop. I cried because she’s wrong. The shittiness in my life doesn’t seem to follow the impermanence rule. There are always really huge, bad, chaotic things in my life. I don’t want that to be the case, but it is. It’s like a huge black cloud surrounding me. The only way for it to be “impermanent” is for me to not live anymore. And as those thoughts came, so did the tears.
While yoga was stressful for me tonight, all of those sandbags and poses and breathwork did drop my anxiety to a 6. This was a huge relief. Of course it’s back up again – sitting at an 8 or 9 right now. Still not at a 10 though, so I’ll take that 😊 I’m looking forward to two yoga classes tomorrow and lunch with a friend….oh and therapy of course because fuck I have a lot of shit to work through.