Lesson 1: Learning to Just BE

As I mentioned in my intro, I came into yoga as a “pusher” and “do-er” and a “self shamer”. No matter what I did, it was never enough and as a result I was never enough. The first pose that I remember really wrestling with was Savasana or “Corpse Pose” (or as we call it in my classes now, Nap Pose). It’s that pose at the end of most yoga classes where you outstretch on your back, legs relaxed out and arms down your sides and just close your eyes. The teacher would say “just BE”. I remember thinking, “yeah, ok----this feels silly and like I’m doing nothing.” I found myself fidgeting to get comfortable, sometimes peeking to see if I was the only one who had their eyes closed and worrying that we were doing this too long and she had forgotten to tell us class was over. I was going to run late to my next event. I had to pick up my daughter. What if she was crying and I’m just laying here?” On and on the thoughts would flow. 

Almost like she was reading my mind, my teacher would say “notice the stream of thoughts and let them just pass by like clouds on a summer day”. That was my first conscious experience as an adult with just BE-ing. There was NOTHING to do accept breathe and observe---like laying on a blanket in the grass cloud-gazing. There was no one I had to try to be, no one that needed anything from me. I noticed after a few months of Savasana----I started to naturally look FORWARD to these times of “being”. It was like ME time, just like a massage or coffee/reading. By just creating space like this to BE---I was letting myself open up to what I felt and what I thought but with no need to “fix it”. 

One unintended observation a noted during one particular “Nap Pose” session----was that during these times I actually was letting myself FEEL emotion. I was letting my guard down a little and dropping the armor around my heart just a tad. Yes, I teared up----and then reminded myself to not judge myself for that. I never thought I’d be a yoga class crier. 
However, savasana was giving my heart space to actually be heard and observed---and release that pent up fear, anxiety, anger and shame I had pushed down for so long. You see, my marriage at this time was on the rocks, we were having significant family struggles, I also didn’t feel like I was being a “good enough” mom, and we had almost daily financial worries. The more “stuff” that would happen in life, the more I’d push down the feelings I was afraid to feel. The more I had been walling up my heart so nothing more could hurt me. I thought that was the way to “be tough and strong”. More on that in the future----back to Savasana. 

Savasana gave me space that I could feel these feelings without berating myself that I could solve them---they could come up, be felt and drift by without any other thought than “return to the breath”.  I didn’t know it at the time, but this lesson from the mat would serve as a foundation for the deeper work I would do on myself and with clients in the future. Just breath. Just BE. It is enough.