I’m not that kind of girl or that kind of yoga teacher.
The kind that talks about how a yoga pose made me feel. I never understood feeling “beautiful” in a pose or the “bliss” after the breath. Hell, I was mainly there to sweat it out. I’m not that kind of girl who enjoys the silence in savasana or corpse pose. I cringe having to lay still while my mind races; I have things to do and people to see. I hate that kind of girl who makes me sit still.
But today—I was that kind of girl.
I rushed home so I could release anger so deep that it swarmed my body. Anger that made my face red, my neck blotchy and my body weak. Anger that came from absolutely nothing.
A battle I fight daily has its highs and lows—today showed only lows. Dealing with depression and a sobriety war against addiction, I beat myself up with insecurities, doubt and guilt. Why can’t I be happy like her? Or as relaxed and calm as him? Why is it so hard to practice what I preach and accept the flaws, let go of the doubt and embrace self-love?
My only hope in this rage against nothing was finding that small something to calm me. Something to take the edge off. Something to slow me down before I reacted. Something that wouldn’t stop my heart from beating or my breath from flowing.
No mat, shoes off and still in my scrubs from work, I found myself home safely in a defeated child’s pose. I tried to find the breath that I teach about daily. My heart was still pounding in frustration or maybe from pure desperation to find a remedy that wasn’t swallowed or sniffed. I pushed my palms into the cold tile floor, shifted my hips up into downward facing dog and sunk my heavy heart toward my thighs.
This may be that something I needed, I felt. It was—simply—me listening to my body, slowing my mind and loving myself.
I inhaled a scattered broken breath and exhaled a long-awaited release. I took every breath with intention, with hope, several times before I fell back to my knees into child’s pose. I found in the fall that the earth still had my back. It still caught me when I crumbled. The earth beneath me may have been cold, but I was the heat it needed. This earth gives me freedom to jump, skip and even fall. It reminds me that I have won this battle. I win because each day, even on my worse days, I stand back up.
Falling to my knees, surrendering to the earth and to myself, made me realize I am that kind of girl. That girl who needs to find space, surrender and summon inner strength. I’m not the girl who picks cocaine to release but instead the girl who craves a different kind of high: a high from all those beautiful yoga poses that help me feel again. I’m not the girl who needs to find intimacy in a random partner, but instead I am content being alone in Savasana. I’m not the kind of girl who needs an escape; I am that girl who just needs space to breathe and a moment for myself.
As a yoga student and teacher, I have learned that we all have our days: the days we want to throw the covers over our head and not come out and play; the days where faking a smile hurts more than the story behind the frown; the days where standing back up is harder than the fall itself.
My best advice to anyone on a similar journey is to honor those days, the falls that cause bruises and wounds and the anger that precedes the reaction. By taking a moment on those days, we listen to our bodies, slow our minds and fall in love with the process.
That’s the kind of girl I’m proud to be.
Author: Reanna Knotts
Editor: Caroline Beaton