This was on the last day in my childhood home.
This came after my mom’s passing, more than twenty years after my dad's passing, and after I had single-handedly, sorted through, sifted through, and cleaned out and distributed, the entire contents of the home, alone. I was unwinding years of memories. The process did not unhinge me. It centered me.
My yoga practice helped carry me through this. I would alternate between a couple of days sorting through the home and then several days of yoga. Deep, measured, focused yoga. I had an incredible teacher who supported me through it. Not with baby-glove hands, but with a steady, consistent, unwavering hand. Once asking me, while adjusting me in a twist, if I was still packing up boxes. Another time, asking me, as she adjusted my shoulder, if I understood how the shoulder blade needed to move, and seeing what must have been my broken expression, sighed, and backed off. Another time, she tucked me in, each shoulder, each hand, each foot, into savasana. Without this, I would not have been able to do all I did.
When I look at this picture, I see that this was a moment of complete unfolding in me. This was a turning point. Over the course of a few months, I realized there were certain things in my current life that I could no longer sweep under the rug of my heart. Death is clarifying in this way. There’s no more room for denial. There's no more time to be vague. There’s only this. The truth.
How do you feel? How are you doing? Where is your strength? When is it time to rest? When is it time to push on? What can you let go of? What can you not let go of? What can you no longer carry forward as you step into the future ahead? These are some of the questions that came up.
I didn’t generate them. The process did.
This is the process of yoga itself. The continual unveiling. The continual facing of yourself. The continual inventory of parts of yourself, shedding, step by step, breath by breath, away.
Did yoga save me from the emotions of grieving? No.
Had I seen what I had been before refusing to see? Yes.
Did I see the strength of myself forging fearlessly ahead? Most definitely.
Never underestimate the power of your yoga practice. May yours help you find your way home.