Before the proliferation of yoga and the morphing of yoga into a kind of sport/workout, yoga was a healing discipline. Whether it be for physical ailments or psychological issues or simply for increasing well being in a preventative way, yoga provides the pathway to health.
Divorce can hit like tsunami and throw our lives into complete chaos and uncertainty. The life you had planned crumbles and the road you are travelling on detours into unknown, jungle territory.
Most of us, when we fall, tend to fall with rigidity.
Yoga teaches us flexibility. How to surf life. How to stretch our bodies and our minds and open ourselves to different possibilities. With yoga we use flexibility to shift – similarly, we need to shift when life simply sucks and hurts. Being flexible leads to being resilient – a necessity when healing from divorce or break ups.
Yoga gives us courage. Every time we come to our mats and allow ourselves to just be–no judgment or criticism. We are powered by curiosity and beginner’s mind. Perhaps we challenge ourselves to try a new pose or practice at the razor’s edge. We develop bravery, bravery that bleeds into our daily life.
Yoga teaches us patience. I remember back to my first yoga class, a slow paced, precise, Iyengar class. I kept looking at the clock, wondering if there would be an opportune moment to cut out of that class. And yet, something inside, beyond my conscious mind, kept me there on that mat. I challenged myself to go back again and then again and 20 plus years later I am still going back. The patience I developed translated into my life in profound ways. More patience with myself, with others, as well as with situations out of my control .
Yoga teaches us balance. Some days I would come into the studio to teach balance postures and find myself wobbling and hopping around because the outer world had become my inner world. When we practice yoga we reflect inward and try to find stillness and the balance that can be so elusive at times. Divorce is beyond tough on so many levels and easily knocks us off our feet. That tree pose where we root into the ground and maybe sway but stay rooted teaches us we can balance despite the winds trying to blow us over.
Yoga taught me to slow down and be present. Sure we have to plan for the future and there are always regrets from the past but how much are we living in these two realms and not showing up for our life, either because we are rushing into the future or wallowing in memory. Not easy to slow down and be with ourselves but in doing so we show up for ourselves and for others.
Facing a divorce we may want to run away. Often we do not ant ourselves to feel – we try to hide and numb our emotions! But these feeling are unavoidable – learning to feel and be present with what you feel allows for the freedom to move forward.
And there is a moving forward after divorce. Moving forward with flexibility, openness, patience, resilience, balance and presence.