Um, actually, breaking up is hard for anyone. But I’m a yogi, so I should be able to remain even and calm in all circumstances, right? Wrong!! In fact, I love being my own guinea pig for the classes I teach, especially in a break up because, what better situation to use in a yoga class to teach balance and circumference.
“Here’s how not to be or what not to do, now take a deep breathe, darn it...”
Breaking up just sounds violent. It doesn’t have to be, but sometimes it is. Break-ups can hurt physically and emotionally after any length of time. Breaking up after eight years, though, it feels like a limb has been torn off. There’s a lot to be said for a relationship for which you and the other person have tried absolutely everything and are no longer growing in positive directions together or individually.
I don’t think I can ever look at any of my relationships and say, what a waste or even worse, what a bastard, I hate you or I hate men or I hate the world. That ain’t me. How could I hate my choices? Even if I broke up with someone under the most dramatic, intense, scary and what one might consider, the worst way possible, I do not regret and I do not hate. I don’t hold onto anger or resentment. I don’t hold. And by the way, if you think you know why we broke up, think again, its much worse.
I don’t know why I would have thought; being a yogi, this process might be more manageable for me. Alas, it is not.
I study yoga…A LOT. I read many books from many different traditions and I take what I can, use the tools in my life and my classes
I’m drawn to different traditions of yoga. Probably because I was born and raised Catholic and had limited exposure to those with other beliefs. Once I had met Mormons, Jews, et al, I submerged myself in there traditions and I could see that what they believed was just as valid as how I was raised. Even if I didn’t agree with everything their religion represented, I didn’t have a choice to be raised Catholic. I liked being one, but I didn’t know any different and as I grew older, didn’t agree with all that the religion represented.
Here’s the deal…religion can actually be quite simple until people overanalyze and make it more complicated. In summary, there is a divine spirit working above us. Respect one another and treat each other the way we want to be treated.
Kind of like relationships. They are quite simple, until we make them complicated by money and children and material things and our beliefs. Things get in the way of the fundamental, love and respect one another and don’t be mean.
I love working out. I love to run, climb, jump, sprint, stretch and lift. Basically, I’m a big kid that has moved out of the playground and to those places in life that are more acceptable for adults to be in and do those kinds of things, i.e. the gym. Eww.
But even as a trainer and a yoga teacher, balance is important.
Here is where my energy is being displaced amidst the heartbreak and where I need to look elsewhere to heal.
A long time ago, when I was doing the master cleanse (drinking only lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for ten days, oy!!), I found great relief by going into supermarkets. I didn’t buy, obviously, because I wasn’t eating, but I found this great relief and satisfaction being around the plump and plentiful displays of fruit and vegetables. The colors and vastness made me feel safe and secure. It would calm me and make me feel better even though I knew I couldn’t eat any of them.
Then I had this conversation with a girl after a commercial audition. She told me that after a bad audition, she liked to walk through the isles of CVS and just look, not buy the new beauty products for sale. It made her feel better. I didn’t think about that conversation until after a long fight with my beau where after, I had to work, then had an audition then had a bag of time to use before teaching yoga to a client and a CVS right around the corner. I didn’t need anything but I walked in and began combing the isles surveying the products that promised to keep me young and beautiful forever. I was hooked. I understood why it was a good thing to shop even if you didn’t need to. There was something very controlled and peaceful and even about the environment that made everything in my life seem all right.
After the big break-up I found myself combing many grocery and pharmacy isles, listening to sad music, drinking wine alone at night and venting to my mother and anyone else who would listen. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. Until I realized that I needed to be present with all of my feelings, bad, good, shop worthy. It’s all okay and it’s a process.
My way of dealing with heart-break is a long workout where I felt depleted afterward. There was no energy left to reflect and turn inwards.
Looking at fruit or beautiful displays at CVS or Whole Foods are all ‘crazy sounding’ but very normal ways of feeling better about a situation that is no longer in our control. Beautiful displays are organized and balanced and attractive and that’s why we like ‘em.
The chemicals released from working out are the same ones equivalent to those when we are in love or eating chocolate. These are all normal and okay reactions to a situation that is sad or traumatic. Sitting in a park or being with nature and watching the breeze in the trees or dipping your toes in the sand or reading a good book or meditating or petting your dog or going to the farmers market or changing the soil in your garden or plants are all good, healthy ways of focusing your energy in order to heal from a bad experience.
Anyway, if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there is no one way, to live, believe, teach, love and for me right now, grieve. There will always be something ‘we’ disagree about and that can either bring us closer or wedge the gap deeper between us.
Whether we call ourselves yogis or not, we are constantly being tested. This world was not designed to make it easy for the mind to be peaceful always. Giving yourself a hard time for feeling a certain way is the harm, the hurt that you should avoid. Giving yourself the time to heal and in my case, the time to do weird things, is just the way to get out and back to normal.
Whether it’s a break up or some other tragedy you are dealing with, sometimes all good reason goes out the window like a fart in the wind.
The most important thing is not to deny or question your personal process of grieving. We all grieve in different ways.
Just like there are a myriad of paths to follow, the path of grieving is your own to design.
I put pressure on myself to be this ideal yoga teacher who lives a perfectly clean, healthy, positive life and drops into bliss at the drop of a hat. Then I fall. I go through my own process to heal and then I think to myself, well why wouldn’t I want a teacher who has had all of these wacky, scary challenging experience to draw from and teach from and come out of in a balanced, light good place?
Do I want the teacher who has lived in the jungles and rainforests and mountains their whole life renouncing everything and living separately from society and its challenges? Not so much. Do I want the teacher who can find Samadhi in a heartbeat, can do a perfect handstand, away from a wall and hold it for three minutes? Ok, well kind of, cause I’d like to learn.
But, I can only teach what I know and I know a lot, from life. That life didn’t include a lot of handstands away from the wall but it’s a life that included a lot of life that continues to challenge me daily on and off the mat.
One of those experiences happens to be a break up with someone I loved deeply and a love that went down a path I couldn’t support as a yogi and a person. Instead of giving myself a hard time about feeling the experience, I’m taking the time to be with myself, explore the aloneness, write, be peaceful and discover this new life. It’s not so bad.