“Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life,
where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.”
― B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. I’ve been living in some pretty intense ways: moving out of state, having a miscarriage, preparing for a new job. All in the space of two weeks.
In the swampiness, and sometimes darkness, of these past two weeks, I’ve had a hard time reading, writing, practicing yoga, sleeping, and doing things that make me feel alive–that make me feel a little bit more like me.
Instead I’ve been laying on the couch watching old Sex and the City episodes plus the two Sex and the City Movies. (That second movie was baaaaaaddddd!). Don’t laugh, but there was something about the ridiculousness of the story lines and the shallowness of the characters’ problems that really soothed me. I found comfort in trying to remember how certain relationships would turn out–how would Carrie and Aiden break up or how do Charlotte and Harry get together?
Having watched this series when it first came out in my mid 20s, nearly 15 years ago, provided me with just enough content to remember who I was back then: hopeful.
So I harnessed some of that hopefulness from my former 20-something-year-old self and got back on the mat yesterday. Hopeful that my body would be strong enough, hopeful that I wouldn’t break down in tears, hopeful that I would be able to feel healthy and alive, I unrolled the mat and did a few sun salutations. Luckily, my home yoga studio is hot (we’re in the desert after all) so the tears that did fall mixed with the copious amounts of sweat pouring off my head.
I’m not a cryer but it felt good to cry. Recently, my sister and I had a conversation about miscarriages and pregnancy and we were trying to come up with a term that could capture the relief and sadness you feel all at once, in overwhelming waves, throughout the day.
As I breathed and moved my body that had days before expelled the “evidence of conception” (what a weird, clinical term), I cried because I was heartbroken. My 1st baby was gone, for good, for ever. But I also cried because I was so relieved that my body had done what it was supposed to do: gotten rid of a pregnancy that was not viable. Everything about the miscarriage was easier and harder than I ever thought–through it all though, my body, this 39 year old machine, chugged along, contracting, cramping, pushing out what no longer was alive. The relief I felt and still feel at the innate wisdom of my body brought me solace. And I cried for the times I judged myself and my body and thought it wasn’t strong enough or skinny enough or whatever enough.
I cried because I got to experience my body doing what it needed to do, perfectly. As I finished my yoga practice that night, I wanted to give myself a hug, a high five, or hold my own hand. I wanted to pat myself on the back for a job well done. I had not only gone through the most physically and emotionally exhausting experience of my life so far, but I had come through it with grace (ha, ha) and an awareness of the preciousness of our bodies, of our health.
Getting on the mat this time was a way for me to honor my body, even if I just sat there and cried. Now, as I start my practice again, I will stretch my body with an awareness that wasn’t there before: this body held a life inside of it, held the light of another being. No miscarriage can ever take that away.
Please excuse all typos and terseness: I was experiencing technical difficulties.
*This post is in memory of B.K.S Iyengar who passed away today, August 20th 2014, at the age of 95!