Breaking it down…


images-2So lately I’ve been going to classes (once a week if I’m lucky) instead of the luxuriously unhurried home Yoga practice that I used to do, before there was a toddler in the house.

It’s been interesting… a bit scary even.

When you’re feeling raw – a mix of gratitude, deep exhaustion, overwhelm, and mad crazy love, as I often am these days, walking into a room of 30-40 people with the intention to connect with the deepest, most tender parts of yourself can be pretty confronting. It is for me at least, and probably why I’ve always loved to practice alone.

Just making it out of the house these days is huge.

What a strange, wonderful feeling to wave goodbye to my partner and baby and drive off all by myself. I’m often not more than 100m down the road before the tears begin to well.

What they’re about exactly is always hard to say. A little bit of everything. The antidote to all those times that I just had to suck it up.

I can almost hear a hiss as the pressure inside me releases.

I know, I know. I shouldn’t be sucking anything up. What about my psoas? But you know as a mama there are just so many times when you really can’t take a break. You can’t actually just drop down for a quick ‘legs up the wall’ or a 10-minute ‘i-rest’ when you feel the need. Until you get a breather you’ve just gotta suck it up.

And that takes its toll. For sure.

So when I know I’m heading to Yoga, i.e. a place where I can let it all unravel, the unraveling begins as soon as I leave the house. And so by the time I get to the studio and chat with the teacher as I register, it takes just one kind word from her, a simple ‘how have you been?’, and the floodgates open.

I could cry and cry and cry.

But she’s got a class to teach, starting in 5 minutes, and there’s 7 people behind me waiting to pay.

It’s not the time.

So I slink on over to my spot in the back row, stretch out my tired legs in my faded old Yoga daks that barely stay up, and feel pretty bloody old to tell you the truth.

There’s not nearly enough space between me and the next mat. I’m tempted to split. To go and have a coffee and some quiet time with a book or my notepad.

Of course I don’t. I stay and I breathe and I move and I just let it all be. I watch my thoughts and let them be. At times I feel my power, and I let it be. I sense my edges and I let them be. I hear my judgments, let them be. I feel myself judged and I let that be too.

I see the falsity of all of it. Who I thought I was. Who I think I am now. Who I thought others thought I was. What others might be thinking of me now.

None of it true.

I remember how easy it was to assume things, when the tables were turned, and I was the teacher cruising around the room listening to bodies. I thought I knew so much about people. I see now that while some of those assumptions might have been right, there’s always more to another’s story than I will ever know.

I also remember how easy it was, as the teacher, to just love. To see right through the layers to the essence, the earnestness, the fragility, the beauty.

And I see how much harder it is now, as the student, to receive that love, when I’m feeling so broken in so many ways.

I’m not used to being here. My mind races with strategies to turn the tables again.

In my heart though there is patience. I feel like the mother of a teenager who’s “going through a phase”. She knows she’s not looking at her daughter’s best self, but she loves her anyway.

I’m also that teenager. Unable to really express just what it is that I’m going through. Withdrawing a little from the love of those who might like to set me straight. Rebelling against structures, both internal and external, that feel forced or inauthentic.

It’s not entirely comfortable, but it’s beautiful, this breaking down.

And just as I love my daughter with my whole heart & Soul, whether she’s crying and biting or being funny and cute, that love is transforming the way I love myself.

I roll out of savasana and bring my hands to prayer,

Thank you Mother for these challenges. I’m learning to trust, even when I don’t understand.

I know now that You love me, no matter what.
By Your grace, may I heal all the places within where I still cannot love myself.

Om Namo Narayani

“The most difficult part of birth is the first year afterwards.  It is the year of travail – when the soul of a woman must birth the mother inside her.  The emotional labor pains of becoming a mother are far greater than the physical pangs of birth; these are the growing surges of your heart as it pushes out selfishness and fear and makes room for sacrifice and love.  It is a private and silent birth of the soul, but it is no less holy than the event of childbirth, perhaps it is even more sacred.”     ~ Joy Kusek, mother, doula, birth educator.

ps. Quote is an excerpt from a beautiful post, Making Room For Love, that is so worth reading. Mamas… I dare you to finish it with dry eyes. I certainly didn’t. xx