Profundity has pulled me from what I thought was a simple path.
For quite some time I innocently drifted along. Feeling a strong urge to take myself into my next stage, I asked the universe to deliver: “I want to be trained in yoga professionally. I want to attend Yoga Teacher Certification Training.”
Within a month, the exact amount of money I needed for the program presented itself. Phone calls, emails, student orientations, and lots of googling all led me through a confusing couple of weeks of trying to decide which training center would be best for my needs. The plan seemed straightforward: take the course, and learn what you don’t know.
Deep within me, a certain chord has been struck. I cannot put my finger on it, but I hear its notes as a harbinger; vibrating, that something big is about to happen. You see, I hit deep yesterday, in my most gentle, yet unraveling practice yet. Here, I thought I had already pulled back some deep layers. I was soul searching, crying on my mat just two years ago, as if I was peeling back an onion. Time may have lapsed, but fractals dive deeper indefinitely.
Currently, I’m aware that I’m riding the surface of a major breakthrough, and I can barely contain myself.
Just moments after this intense practice yesterday, my other new instructor (we have two) asked for my opinion, as it was my first class with her. I replied, “The first thing that comes to my mind is that ‘Less is More’.” Her carefully guided practice brought me into such a deep state of present moment awareness. Mindfulness is something that I practice on a daily basis, so the idea is near and dear to me; however, something happened on the mat yesterday. I dug down deep.
Without having a chance to fully digest what had just happened, the unraveling of my chronic pain was about unroll itself even more. For some reason my instructor and I started talking just as I was standing at the door to leave. We chatted for who knows how long. We could have gone on all day, and possibly all night. Her spiritual side was finally shining through, as I was previously unable to pick up on this aspect of her. Apparently, she does not wear it on her sleeve.
We kept things balanced, as we also talked about the physical realm. I explained to her that her gentle style of yoga allowed me to really pause and be present with myself, more so than any style I’ve ever tried. I confessed: “I’m always tense! It’s like I’m trapped inside my tight fascia. Yoga is the only thing that calms my system down.” She apologized, for she hadn’t looked into Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome yet, as she is not attached to her computer. Summing up E.D.S. with my take on the subject, she instantly agreed that it is possible that E.D.S. is quite fascia related. She reached out and grabbed her stash of pens in the holder just in front of her. As animated as she was, pens went flying all over the floor, but her sincerity was so extraordinary, that she began her demonstration like nothing happened:
Her fingers wrapped around all 30 pens, “Not only is there fascia encapsulating your entire muscle,” she pointed around all of the pens, “each individual fiber is covered with fascia,” as she pulled out one pen at a time. An almost uncontrollable welling began in my eyes as something within me knew: this is key. Explaining further she said, “You are in either fight, flight, or what is the third mode?” Confused I replied, “I don’t know the third one.” “It’s fight, flight, or freeze. You are frozen. What this style of yoga is doing for you is giving you a chance to thaw out. You are working on those deep fascial layers, unraveling each one bit by bit. It’s going to take some time.”
It was difficult for me to hear that I was in this sympathetic nervous system state. Standing there I knew how far I had come with my constant yoga and breathing practices. Nonetheless, I quickly accepted the information as truth, as I felt she was right. I thought, “Yes, it might take some time, but it can be done.”
Since that moment that I thought, “it can be done”, I’ve been suspended in a space. It’s like I finally discovered the gate I was always looking for, I got to take a peek inside, but I wasn’t allowed in just yet. This heightened level of awareness of my pain brought upon some major stripping of myself, “Have I been making my pain worse, by not being able to confront it fully? As in fully, completely, and utterly surrender into it, in all moments.”
For the past 24 hours I’ve been in some state of shock, like: I know this is going to be a big layer I’m pulling back, and it might be the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. An indescribable feeling has been following me, hanging over me, like an exclusive raincloud. A dizzying mix of fear, excitement, and uncertainty. Unable to keep my feelings to myself any longer, I shared with my boyfriend that I was feeling very anxious about this unraveling. He reminded me of a dream he once had:
He was being chased by a menacing, frightening, maniacal clown. The more he ran, the more desperate he became, as this clown was trying to kill him. Upon realizing that he could not run from it forever, he stopped running and turned around to face the clown. He recalled a frozen moment, of him looking at the clown, and the clown looking at him. Time stood still, and the mood of the dream completely changed. Once he stopped running, and he faced the clown, this fearful image of the clown dissolved as it was a creation of his own imagination. Everything in the dream went from absolutely terrifying to outright happy, sunny, and cheerful, something more beautiful than he could ever imagine.
His dream gave me a better mindset, as I was surprisingly feeling afraid to go to our training today. I didn’t want this giant wall of mine to just come crashing down in front of a small group of still-yet-strangers.
Hours later, as I was in Savasana at the closing of our practice, the other instructor said these simple words, “Be the Witness to the change.” I thought, “That’s it! I’m attaching to my feelings, my fear. I need to surpass my thoughts and just simply watch this process unravel. I need to Let Go.”
It has been another 24 hours since I wrote the above experience. At the time, I wanted to capture my emotions, knowing that they would soon change. Sometimes life’s path throws us down unexpected turns, where we must learn to just surrender into the moment. All day I have been practicing letting go into my head-to-toe tension. With my breath, I quiet my mind, and I witness myself sink slowly into my pain. I make a full-hearted attempt at letting go. For mere glimpses my intense pain dissipates, but returns just as quickly as it left. I’m amazed, as I have never been able to make such leaps before.
My instructor recently shared that it takes 21 days to break a habit. Maybe being frozen has become a learned pattern for us. I cannot be more grateful for having this training align with my life right now, for it might be time to thaw out my big freeze.