June 21, 2015 § 7 Comments

Life and practice has been all about the pain in the past six weeks. Not physical pain, but emotional pain. Overwhelming, distraught, wordless pain that resides deep inside the body. A residue of past trauma, of physical and emotional abuse that still haunts me to this day. I thought I was over these chapters of my past, especially now that I’m living a new life far far away from the place and people of my childhood. But clearly my body has not forgotten, and Kapotasana has proven to be an effective trigger in resurfacing the pain and its attendant emotions: fear and grief, but most of all, worthlessness.

It’s not the first time that this pose has made me cry. The first round was in December 2014, a period of time I will never forget because I was depressed for weeks. I had no idea what was going on. This practice that nourishes me suddenly left me atomized, utterly broken and unable to do much more than mope around and weep. That phase eventually subsided, but resurfaced again a few weeks ago. This time I had the support of a bodyworker/osteopath/white witch who I’ve been seeing for the past two years. Her hypothesis that I’ve stored the pain of physical abuse in my quads has not only proven accurate, it’s also been followed by a series of events that tap deep into the heart of the pain that’s shaped me: shame, guilt and worthlessness. All of it is coming out now, one way or another. Old baggage from relationships that I want to hide forever and never have to deal with, coming to the forefront of my consciousness, resurrecting past ghosts, the past self of mine who believed that she was never good enough and who never quite fit in. And I still don’t. After all, it’s hard to fit in when you’re the only one crying in the Mysore room, every fucking time.

“The deeper the catharsis, the bigger the transformation”, says one of my yoga teachers when I clued her in on what’s going on. I cannot see beyond the pangs of this catharsis at the moment because identifying the cause of my pain has led to an unpacking of all the baggage I’ve been carrying around. It is one fucking mess after another. A cascade of painful realizations from past hurts. I am trying to rise above the ‘optional suffering’ that comes with the pain built-in into life, but some days it is too bloody hard. I have so many questions that will never be answered. Wounds so deep that I cannot see the day when they will heal, even if I know, intellectually, that they will. John Waters’ commencement speech spoke to me on a multitude of levels, but his remark about not being surrounded by assholes in his personal and professional life really stood out. Because this pain I’m processing at the moment is a product of the wonderful assholes who brought me into existence and weaved the cultural and religious environment of my upbringing for the better part of 30 years. I knew that moving away from “home” was one of the best things to ever happen to me, but it is in revisiting my past ghosts that I can fully appreciate the significance of this life event. By taking myself out of a toxic environment, I finally have the space and freedom to find my self, heal and build a new life. I have never felt more certain about being exactly where I need to be, and despite the pain, I know that time is on my side.



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§ 7 Responses to Pain

  • mariavlong says:

    Yoga: Physical therapy for soul parts wounded during the wars waged for survival. Some soul scars form over unhealed parts that have to be reopened and kind of scraped raw so they can move freely. Soul rehab hurts like hell. Sending love and fortitude.

    • D says:

      Love and fortitude received. Thanks for your kind words dear friend. “Soul rehab” is quite possibly the best descriptor for this messy business.

  • Good energy, strength and patience coming your way, friend.

  • Oh, so sorry. I’ve been there too … sending healing thoughts your way. It’s no fun to be the only one crying in the mysore room. It passed, with the help of some amazing healers and meditation teachers. Although I also gave up daily ashtanga practice along the way.

    • D says:

      Thank you. Yes, meditation has been helping too, as well as the support of my community. I haven’t given up on daily practice, but I am approaching it with more compassion and less striving, which makes it sustainable…

  • arin says:

    as the sutras state: aversion or dvesa can be its own form of attachment. trying to push something away creates it’s own samskara.

    Sutra 2.4. Ignorance of the Self makes possible for the ego. Many ways we become attached to things. Some good some bad. Even the good ones can seemingly come to pain. everything is subject do change death and decay: mentally and physically. You moving away from toxic settings are indeed a great thing. But like you said the mental portion still rears it’s ugly head. the more we properly witness these events the less strength they have on us. Attenuate: prasupta: dormant would be great but perhaps the separatation:vichchhinna isn’t as complete as it needs to be to be dormant.keep working.

    hatha yoga is great because it keeps the body free of crap. a form of sauca 2.40. the cleaning process is both physical and mental.

    Remember that there will be obstacles. It’s part of the process. The sutras clearly say that this is to be expected. Don’t beat yourself up over it and don’t worry about trying so hard. Let it come and Let go.

    BTW. breath work makes me emotional as well sometimes: Among other things.

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