THE STORY OF HOW YOGA BROUGHT MY SOUL BACK
After a day moving to Hawaii and into a new apartment, I was on a hard wooden floor in pain. This led me to yoga in an attempt to fix my back. It was out of desperation, yet a few weeks later I found myself in a hot yogaroom. With no formal background — and very little knowledge of yoga — I went to a class searching for something to make me strong in my broken places. I hoped I wouldn’t collapse, but was also confident about the challenge before me. With no preparation or personal experience, I jumped in.
My plan was to try yoga for thirty days. Then, I would evaluate how my back felt and decide if I should continue. I made it through twenty-four classes that month and found my will galvanized. My conclusion was clear: Yoga is the way to go for healing back pain. “It’s so simple,” I wrote, “why don’t more people do it?” Yoga worked, but the transformation goes deeper.
Writing and Yoga
I decided to keep attending and keep writing about it because I thought my practice in a heated room would benefit me in other ways too, and I was eager to discover them. But notes about yoga were not my only subject. I started writing on everything that came to me during that beautiful hour: I numbered the sessions, made notes about the teachers, chronicled my thoughts about the class and penned other insights.
In a short time, I had constructed a personal literature of self-recrimination and absolution formed out of perspiration and inspiration. The arc of my story was like a rainbow. I could see my treasure would be at the end of a long struggle. Every moment of trial and endurance reflected my new gratitude, and I was moving steadily into new emotional and physical ground. It was exhilarating.
Before long, I noticed a sign at the studio:
“First it will become harder, then it will become easier, then it will get different, then way different.”
My experience on the mat ratified this truth. I began to hurt more, but it was not physical; my crucible was mental and emotional. I thought I had done most of my personal work over the course of a career teaching and counseling. I realized it was not true, and I was entering undiscovered ground deep in my soul.
When my writing turned into a daily practice, hours at a time, I started with my living circumstances and feelings about where I lived in Hawaii. I was far from home; I felt distanced and isolated from most of what I knew and loved.
My writing turned to family, my alcohol use, and the career path I had lived. It took nearly a year, and when I was emptied, I changed my focus to writing entirely about yoga and my practice. Meditation, reading, and asana became my go-to for self-nurture, and I began to explore what yoga’s dynamic healing energy exchange meant for the core of my being.
Diving Deeper into Yoga
Yoga had become to me an augury of new life, perhaps a bringer of miracles. Delving into the innermost kernel of asana and its revelatory tension, I started writing with the intent of finishing a book. My hope was to articulate a common yoga journey that cracked open my heart and spine. I wanted to understand how it paved the way to personal transformation.
I discovered yoga met me in generative engagement. It taught me in what felt like a reductive mathematical and Gandhian discipline while offering ashamanistic life-strategy. Through the breath-centric heart of this core, I began to mine yoga’s treasures and translate them into a refined biology of belief. I peeled away superficial layers, placing both identity and destiny under a microscope, to reveal a corpus of self-discovery.
The sign I had read was true. My practice became harder, then easier, then way different. My heart hurt more, not less. I yearned to be closer to my children, I ached for them to love me. I pined, at the very least, for acknowledgment from my extended family or even a small affirmation that I was doing a good thing. But that was not their duty. I realized I was left alone on my mat.
I was reminded of the traditional American gospel folk song, first recorded in 1927, Lonesome Valley, and its haunting lyric:
You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley
Well you gotta go by yourself
Well there ain’t nobody else gonna go there for you
You gotta go there by yourself
Follow this link for the complete story: https://helloyoga.com/midnight-hour-yoga-personal-healing-transformation-4a6369255770#.ov6prvf