My yoga mat sits in the corner, collecting dust, and possibly a few cobwebs. I sit here looking at it, feeling a tightness in my chest, a tightness that is mirrored throughout my whole body. I am once more inhabiting a body that is inflamed, heavier than it should be, worn down by stress and pregnancy and a whole host of insecurities that have finally caught up to me over the past two years.
My blog has not been the only thing I have taken a hiatus from. You see, ever since my dearest Grandmama passed away, nearly two years ago now, my yoga practice, which was once so strong and lovely, has splintered and fallen apart. Throw in the fact that I walked away from an abusive relationship in the middle of my grief over my Grandmother, and I had a whole heck of a lot on my plate to deal with. I tried to keep up with my practice the best I could, but yoga has a tendency to bring incredibly powerful emotions to the fore, and at that point in my life, I just could not handle it. I stepped off of my mat, and away from all the pain.
The past two years hasn’t all been pain. I have met and married my best friend and love of my life, who supports and encourages me in all that I do, and we had a beautiful baby girl ten months ago. She is our pride and joy, and keeps us constantly on the go. My partner has stepped up and become an incredible father to my other two girls, and we have formed an amazingly strong family unit. He works hard for the girls and I, never complaining, and I appreciate all that he does for us, far more than I can ever express. He is the most beautiful person I have ever known, and I am blessed that he has chosen me to share this life with.
I am planning on starting a small online business this summer, selling assorted pagan crafts, crystals, tarot decks, etc, and as the business becomes more established, I may expand and add more merchandise. My husband is very supportive, and also likes to brainstorm ideas with me as to products I can create or bring into the shop once we get off of the ground. It’s wonderful to have someone who is so supportive, but also a little baffling, as well; after many years in an abusive, belittling relationship, where I was torn down and criticized instead of being praised and built up, this is unfamiliar territory for me. It’s wonderful, a healing balm for the soul, but still a little uncomfortable. Sometimes I’m not sure that I’ll ever get used to it.
There has definitely been stress, however. Particularly these past few months. My husband lost his job a couple of months back due to a personal dispute with his boss; he has since found another, one that he likes a great deal more. We also recently lost our home, and though we have settled in another, one that actually seems better suited to our family, all the chaos caused me to fall into some unhealthy stress management habits again. I have picked up smoking once more, something I swore I would never do, and I have anxiety attacks again, which I have not had since shortly after I left my abusive relationship. And yoga has become all but non-existant in my home.
Add to that the fact that I have not had much of a practice in the past couple of years, throw in a pregnancy and stress, and my body is hurting. Old injuries that haven’t made a peep in years are flaring back up with a vengeance, my joints are stiff and aching all of the time, I am seeing a resurgence in my migraine headaches, to the point where I have had to go back on my medications for them, something I am hugely opposed to, and I am struggling against a whole host of depression and mood issues.
This is the time when I need my practice the most. And I am terrified to step onto my mat, for after two years of no practice, I am rusty. Hell, I’m more than just rusty. I’m not even sure if I can do half of the basic poses anymore, let alone any of the more complicated ones I worked so hard for months to achieve. Wild Thing, Crane, Half-Handstand…..all of my favorites…..all of them gone now….my body so stiff and uncompromising and in such pain…..
It brings me to tears. How could I have let my practice, myself, go for so long? No matter what was going on in my life, how did I let myself turn from the one thing that brought me so much joy and freedom? How could I close my heart so much to the very thing I love with my entire being, the one thing that makes me feel most alive?
So, here I am, essentially right back at the beginning again. Just as when I first stepped onto a yoga mat six years ago – stiff, overweight, unflexible, insecure, and afraid – I am here again. In the very same place. Or maybe not exactly the same place. Maybe a little more humbled. Maybe a little more insecure. And definitely a little more afraid. For there are many layers of pain and vulnerability to be stripped away, years of abuse and sadness I need to finish healing from, loss I have not completely overcome, and the only place I know how to work through all of that is on my mat. My mat is my safe harbor, my sanctuary; a place where there is no judgement or condescension, at least not from the outside world. From myself? There is some, but that is from old scars that need to be worked through, and I know that with time, those will be silenced as I grow to love and accept myself again, for exactly who and what I am, in this skin, and in this moment.
I know that this time, when I step onto my mat, that there will be no turning back. It is time to heal, in body, mind, and spirit. It is time to move forward and grow, spiritually and emotionally. It is time to embrace this new phase of my life with open arms, instead of fighting it, kicking and screaming, like I always do. I know it’s time, I can feel it, all the way through my body to my very center….
And I am absolutely terrified.