Prior to yoga I lived in the darkness.
I isolated in dark rooms. I drank in dank basement bars.
I was always hunched over, looking down, my posture reflecting my shame and guilt.
I would not want to be noticed; I wanted to be invisible. This was reinforced in everyday life by my resentments, my supposed enemies, my fabricated world.
I would see someone who I owed money to and look down, “think invisible, invisible.”
I would remember about what I did the night before in the throes of my addiction, my secrets, my shame, my guilt.
I hunched over and looked down, subconsciously I own this thought: “I am invisible. If I stay in the dark, I will not be found out.”
My journey in recovery has brought me to realize that the subtle things we do in yoga have so much impact on all those negative connections.
Just the simple act of looking up in a pose counters all that shame and guilt; reversing my postures brings me back from the depths of darkness.
I remind my students of the significance of light in yoga.
We look into the light, we live in the light. We are no longer ashamed of ourselves, our secrets are exposed and insignificant, our past is gone. We are in the now, we are good, we are on the right path, the future is bright.
There is hope.
Craig McRae is a certified yoga instructor from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He entered recovery in 2010 and found yoga. Yoga has brought light to his recovery. He decided after a year of being a student to travel to Nasik, India to train in the Bihar yoga tradition (Swami Satyananda Saraswati) at yogapoint(Yoga Vidya Gurukul). Craig now shares that light with his students. www.facebook.com/pnp.yoga
Editor: April Hayes
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.