Day 7: Balance

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I cry during yoga.  The first time it happened was the first time I went to a yoga class in my latest attempt to bring a regular practice into my life.  When we settled in for shavasana, the lying pose at the end focused on relaxation, the teacher talked about gratitude for the chance to practice yoga, and being aware of what we could let go as we sunk our backs deeper into the floor, scanning our bodies for any places that still needed to release tension.  I felt a surge of tears rise and then quickly subside.  What was I letting go?

Then it happened again a couple of yoga classes later, and this week it’s happened every time I’ve gone.  Thankfully, that’s been a lot.  I’ve been telling myself I should start practicing yoga for almost a decade, and lately I seem to be doing just that.  I’ve been to yoga three times this week and am enjoying it and looking forward to it so much I’m hoping it’s going to flow right into being a regular part of my life.  Finally.

Today the teacher had us begin in crocodile pose, face down on our mats, our heads resting on our hands.  She wanted us to be able to feel our breath fill our bellies, pushing against the floor.  What I felt were tears rising again.  “We carry stories in our bodies,” the teacher said as we settled into an awareness of our breath.  “If we can make the stories not personal, if we can leave the drama and hurt that might go with the stories behind, we can work on accepting where our bodies are right now.”

Is it finally sitting still with mindfulness that’s letting some sadness rise to the surface for me?  Is it the practice of yoga itself, with its focus on the balance of mind, body and spirit, that’s pulling an unbalanced part of my mind and spirit back into a softer place?

The sun has been riding through the wall of gray storm clouds to the south all morning, sinking into a hint of light then brightening again into a broad halo.  By late afternoon it should be snowing and the world will be all gray and white and black.   Something is sinker deeper in me right now, or something deeply sunk is rising.  Or maybe both, a knot of sadness that’s surfing the stillness I’m cultivating.

 

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
This entry was posted in Grief, Life Changes, Light, Moving On. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Day 7: Balance

  1. Anne Purinton says:

    Let the tears flow. Embrace all of your emotions, for they are you. Love them. They resurface b/c you have yet to release them, or, there is so much sadness. Let go of control; drift down that stream; the landing is the shore of yourself. True nature.

    • Grace Mattern says:

      I’m so glad my blog posts are prompting you to write such wonderful comments. It’s a two way writing street — “the landing is the shore of yourself.” Lovely.

  2. “The sun has been riding through the wall of gray storm clouds to the south all morning” I love that.
    It is amazing what yoga does for our minds and bodies.

    • Grace Mattern says:

      Yeah, David and I are pretty addicted right now. Yoga is making a huge difference in how I feel on all levels. And right now the sun is shining!

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