inhale peace, exhale stress

Last year I cried in yoga class.

Sixty plus people packed into a room to salute the sun and stretch away their stress and I was that girl who fell to the floor in a puddle of tears.

I walked in to the practice that night wound up tight. A parent at school was upset with me and I took her words to heart instead of considering that they came from a place of difficulty in her own life. I had taken on too much at work, wasn’t making enough time for myself or the people that I love and my body was carrying all of the garbage that comes with stress. I was unbalanced.

So there I was flowing along, telling myself that with each breath I inhaled peace, exhaled stress; with each new pose I was releasing the tension that had wound me up so tight I couldn’t see straight.

And then we did Goddess pose; known in Susannah-land as make-yourself-as-vulnerable-as-possible pose.

As I stood there, open, exposed, surrounded by strangers, open, tears began to stream down my face.  Just as I began to cry, my instructor stood face to face with me.  She looked me in the eyes. She mirrored my pose and said, “Be a goddess.” I nodded, still in my pose,  thinking, “yup, right, I am so NOT a goddess right now.” I mean, how could I be a goddess with snot dripping down my lip?

She didn’t blink. She didn’t move and said again, “BE A GODDESS.”

And then the floodgates. In that quiet room with all of those people whose feet were planted so solidly on the ground, I fell to the floor and sobbed.

I sobbed for a long time. And no one came over to ask me if I was okay. Or told me it would be alright. No one assured me that if I just stopped crying I would feel better. I just sobbed, curled in a ball on my yoga mat with the quiet hand of my instructor on the center of my back.  It was the first time in a long time that I could just let go.  I could just feel how I felt without having to explain it to anyone. Without having to apologize to anyone. Without having to feel badly that I was making anyone else feel uncomfortable or put out by my feelings.

Everyone in the room just carried on. And the world didn’t fall apart. And neither did I.

Ah, sweet relief.  Sweet release.

This goddess gathered herself up and joined in for Tree pose; her balance had never been better.

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Liza
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 20:52:53

    Love it, and in some ways I yearn for the same release

    Reply

  2. carla ten eyck
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 21:12:15

    I am right about there sister. So glad you were able to feel some release, these times are tough with all that we ask of ourselves these days!! XO

    Reply

  3. tony
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 22:50:36

    i love you so much.

    Reply

  4. Kristen Golden
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 07:54:07

    Just what I needed to read today. Thanks, Susannah. I’m scheduling that hot stones massage right now!

    Reply

  5. Diane MacKinnon
    Dec 23, 2011 @ 20:52:17

    Hi Susannah,
    I loved your post. I recently had a similar experience during a massage. Luckily, the massage therapist (a friend) took it in stride and let me cry while she continued to do the body-work. Not everyone can allow you to manage your own emotions when they are so strong. I’m glad you were with a group of people who could let you feel your feelings.
    Warmly,
    Diane

    Reply

    • mcglam
      Dec 24, 2011 @ 22:49:42

      Diane! Thank you for sharing such a personal moment. The massage table is healing on so many levels. Glad you connected as it led me to your blog! I love your post on limiting beliefs. All the best.

      Reply

  6. Bethany
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 22:47:49

    When you brought me to my first yoga class, you warned me about people belting out grunts and groans, and not to giggle. Since then I let it fly whenever I ride the elevator alone. I feel instant relief in my shoulders from grunting. (it was a little awkward when I did it with passengers in there). Thanks for always reminding me of the importance of taking care of me.

    Reply

  7. Kate Kowalyshyn
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 07:24:11

    Love your blog Susannah!

    Reply

  8. Roxana Cosme-Sosa
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 15:13:42

    Glam Glam! I miss you soooo much! I recently went to dinner with Ash Jen and Virgen and they mentioned a blog of yours and I can not stop reading them now. You are such an inspiration. I’ve been going through a whole LOT of emotional distress and it just feels good to get into your mind through your words. I haven’t found my time to just cry and let everything out through my tears but when I do, I will be thankful for you. You just reminded me that it’s okay to cry. Thank you for being so amazing Glam! Love you! ~Roxy

    Reply

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