Yoga has always had a way of bringing forth physical, mental, and emotional pain to the forefront for me. A practice to release, hold space, honor and nurture my head and my heart. It’s been a constant over the years and monumental in managing depression.
Depression. As much as we open up more about this and other stigma this remains still to me, the unspoken element that takes hold of my words and thoughts, that brings a heaviness and fatigue. Suddenly and without warning. Usually much earlier in the year than now and for that I’m grateful. It means there is healing which in itself is such a feat.
You don’t always have big revelations that awaken a message and a shift in consciousness. Sometimes it’s only a quiet whisper or a little nudge in the right direction. It’s been so long since I had this familiar feeling I almost didn’t recognize it.
Then I thought. About the mornings that have been difficult no matter how much or how little sleep I get.
Trying to get out of bed feels like the biggest challenge, like my body is a log and even rolling over feels like effort.
The achiness that seeps through every limb even though I move daily.
The emotions that come like waves.
Sadness, grief, anger, irritation, fleeting joy.
Joy. Trying to hold onto this as it slips through my fingers like water.
Something that is only held for so long before it disappears again.
It dawns on me that this is the challenge I’ve faced many times, the dark hole that makes an appearance.
Sitting with that.
My morning practice today was slow. Very slow.
Sitting with myself surrounded by palo santo, music, sunshine streaming through the window, and glistening through crystals.
Sitting in silence and just letting it all be.
What shows up?
What am I feeling right now? Naming it all.
What do I hear beyond this playlist? Can I hear my heartbeat, the distant sound of cars from outside my windows?
What do I see? The blue sky, the shining sun, the safe space I’ve laid before me.
Then I move. Wherever my body goes, continuing with this breath. In the moments between, the candle burning beside me, I light palo santo. Anytime my breath becomes secondary, I pause.
This continues until it all falls silent.
My body finding solace in a seated pose, my heart now wildly beating, and tears running down my face.
This is familiar.
This is me in times of my deepest pain, released.
The weight and the heaviness feels just the smallest shift.
I smile through warmed skin and blurred eyes and feel.
I sit until my arms find themselves wrapped around myself.
This is processing.
This is progress.
This is healing.