I wrote about this before. Last time I was able to hold myself together until I was alone in my apartment. This time I started crying in class. I had to leave. I was embarrassed and ashamed.
What the hell is wrong with me?
After a quick Google search I discovered that nothing is wrong with me and I’m not special (as usual). Crying during and/or after yoga is normal. Think about it, we go through our days dealing with people, tasks, and events outside ourselves. We have jobs that require our attention and distract us from what’s going on inside. Then we go to yoga because it’s good for us and makes us feel awesome. Except yoga also forces us to look inward, to find the strength to get into a difficult pose and the willpower to stay there.
Yesterday, plow pose was what made me cry. As I talked about before, there are certain poses that are difficult for me because of my size, plow can now be added to the list. Here is a picture of a skinny woman in plow pose.
Now imagine that this woman is 50 pounds heavier (maybe more, yeah definitely more) with larger breasts, a sizable stomach and shapely thighs. I felt like my neck was going to snap. I felt like I was suffocating. All of the fat located on the front size of my body was being compressed and I was very uncomfortable.
I like to sit in the front of the class, which should surprise no one who truly knows me. I like to be able to see myself in both the front and side mirror to constantly check my posture. It also pushes me to try my best because everyone else in the class can see me. So here I am at the front of the class trying to get into this pose and the instructor comes to me first. He walks around and helps each of us get into poses, I normally appreciate this but yesterday I would have loved to be left alone. So that’s what you get for sitting up front I guess. He’s helping me lower my legs slowly over my head. I think I got really close to the floor. But before I got there I panicked and yanked myself out of the pose. It was too much. All I could think was my body is too big, I can’t support the weight, my neck is going to break, my boobs are going to suffocate me, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe…
Then I started crying. Then I had to leave.
It was an ugly cry. One of those full body, red face, snotty, full blown sobbing cries. I was in public. I had no shoes (they were in the yoga studio). I didn’t want to walk around barefoot so I went into the cycling classroom next door and sat in the corner and cried. I decided I couldn’t go back while everyone was there so I would wait until 5 minutes after class let out to put away my mat and collect my shoes. I would be able to do this and make the 7 pm bus home. Well I completely lost track of time. I missed my bus which only runs every half hour. I paid $10 to take a lyft home because I had to get home immediately.
After just a brief introspection I realized I wasn’t crying because I couldn’t get into plow pose. Yeah it sucks that I feel limited by my body but there are a lot of things I can’t do that I don’t cry over. I cried because of all of the things that are bothering me right now. I haven’t dealt with any of these issues. I’ve been pushing them down because I don’t know how to handle them.
Looking back, I should have seen what happened at yoga coming from a mile away. I’m finally beginning to understand the mind/body connection that yoga gives you. But what do I do in the future when I’m feeling emotionally unstable, just not go to class? Have a better exit strategy than fleeing? Leave my shoes outside of the room? I don’t know what the answer is but I do know that I’m not going to stop going to yoga. I’ll get into plow pose, someday.
As always I am grateful for my sobriety. 86 days.