Why I stayed~ Yoga & Grief


The year my mother died.  I was a young mother and generally overwhelmed, working a desk job and still going through recent personal changes.
My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer after a life full of miraculous personal victories and accomplishments but also cartons and cartons of cigarettes and stress run rampant. After the operation to remove one lung she looked at me and pleaded, “don’t let me smoke again.” I promised I’d do what I could.
Months later she was back to the old habits.
And just months after that the cancer had travelled to her brain and she succumbed quickly.
I was in shock and a deepest grief. I walked around, functioning in a different world trying to make sense of things. But I didn’t cry. I was baffled by this and felt like a shaken bottle never uncorked. Autopilot was my saving grace.

I had been back to fairly regular yoga classes for about 3 years and it was during the wrap up of one I attended 6 months after my mother’s demise in which I discovered the power of the practice beyond the physical results I’d already experienced. We began the familiar wind up (or down) of practice. Collective sense of accomplishment already sweeping over the room. One backbend, two backbend.. on the third Urdhva Dhanurasana- that most notorious heart opening pose- crack, a ripping at my chest- then tears mostly silently pouring down my cheeks. Things began to fall into place.  I felt a gratitude flowing over me. To discover as I knew deep down I was indeed not an ice queen. To feel movement. I was still in the same world- sad for now and but with the certitude that this would pass. I needed to honor my mother and live my life.
And I knew this was an important practice and that I would make my most valiant effort daily to maintain and pass it on.


Posted on June 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

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