Just Sweat and Tears
As I started my practice on this day, I started with an intention of Be Your Own Best Friend. What would one of your own best friends tell you right now?
Standing in tadasana, my hands wanted to make a mudra.
My mind and fingers went from a mudra I knew to something that appeared to be a gang sign and when I let go of judgments around doing it right, my peace fingers folded inward and it was going to be the peace mudra for me. I started to think of peace in the world, which led me to the suffering in the world, which led me to think of the suffering of others I know, which led me to think of suffering inside myself and how I was feeling that day.
I knew how much I needed to get on my mat that day. I needed to get out of my head. All of the story lines I had built up in there all morning were causing me stress and negative emotions. As I stood there I felt a bursting of emotions coming from inside. At first, I resisted. Where they were coming from? Who was watching? Nobody! My chest and shoulders shook as I resisted. I felt wetness in my eyes, tears started to flow down my face. All of these emotions and stress I had built up that day came out.
I was freed from all of those feelings. I stood there. The shaking slowed, and the tears flowed. I felt an amazing opening and release that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I certainly hadn’t let it happen in a long time. I took a deep breath. I exhaled. Now that was actually what I needed.
When I laid down on my mat at the beginning of my practice, I said to myself, what are you doing, your mind is going everywhere but here. I told myself, like I told the students in the last yoga teacher training I directed…”Get on your mat, roll the dice and see what happens.” So I stuck with it and this is what happened. What a great surprise. J I stood there for a while, I remember that U2’s ‘Hawkmoon 269 was playing as the tears kept rolling out. After receiving all of that, I folded forward (uttanasana). I paused there and then sat down into chair and floated my torso upward, making a bicep curl motion with my arms I could see sweat and tears combined dripping down off of my chin and onto my pants and mat. The cliché or whatever hit me there as I thought “that’s my sweat and tears”, as I continued to sit in chair I had this overwhelming feeling of inner strength. I thought to myself. I am my rock! I am my best friend. I need to become my best friend. I am what I need right now. I am who I need right now. I am who I need to talk to right now. All of this crap I was thinking was coming from inside and didn’t have a basis or truth. I had to be the rock. If I would tell others about the thoughts running through my head they would think I was crazy and be like….dude, come back to reality. I can’t stop my mind from thinking the way it does, but what I can do is try to control how these thoughts affect me. I had another emotional moment during my practice most likely due to another emotional song by Sammy Hagar – Give to Live and I think I was reflecting on what had happened in tadasana. I was in a wide legged forward fold and I could feel the tears coming again and as they fell, I could see them actually falling from my eyes as I lifted my torso to a halfway lift. It was cool and I had already cried so the second time I had a little more consciousness to it than before in tadasana with only emotions.
So I am writing this not to share one of my yoga experiences with you, but more of a revelation or reminder to myself that I am my best friend and I wanted to remind you that you are your best friend. You are your rock. Give yourself a hug. Get on your mat. That is what I found on my yoga mat today and that is what I hope for you to find on your yoga mat when you need to find it. Keep hope alive!
Please share any powerful experiences you have had during a yoga practice. We love to hear how yoga has changed you.