I remember crying a couple of times when I was doing heavy lifting. Leg days will do that. You push so hard that it releases something deep inside and it is a rush of emotion that comes from seemingly nowhere and it is terrifying and wonderful at the same time. Its cleansing like sweat. It's all salt really....
I have also had that experience running. Especially when I had much on my mind and built up stress and when I set those carpet bags of damaged parts of myself on the side of the road and didn't look back I felt a wave of relief and the tears came without warning.
Today I did not want to practice. I felt restless and frustrated. I felt disconnected. Thoughts of inadequacy and not knowing what I am doing where dominant. I was thinking that I should be taking a yoga class or following a program or something. I was thinking that I needed guidance and doubting myself in general. All of this was not a loud screaming feeling but like a whisper of negative thoughts creeping around inside.
I kept doing my Sun Salutations and started to work on my hip openers. I relied on what I know and have no doubt that I feel better when I move that way. I have this cami tank top that I got from INknBURN and I picked it out because it reminds me of my grandmother, Margaret. She was an amazing woman and I wish I would have worked harder to know her better. She loved bright colors and flowers. I have a memory of her having a shirt like the blue cami with roses I was wearing. I think of her and her smile and laugh when I wear it and how her liberal attitudes used to ruffle my mothers feathers and I loved her for it!
For some reason I started working on Mermaid Pose. Part of me thought it was stupid to practice a pose that I knew I wouldn't see improvement in and would just make my bad mood worse and yet part of me was curious. The universe gave me a nice crisp bitch slap that made me cry with humility, gratitude, and compassion for myself and others.
It was one of those moments where I felt a pop, a release and the tears came rushing out although I had to contain myself as to not worry my family that was all around me doing their own thing in the house. I wanted to sigh, and jump up and down, and lay down and cry, and lock the memory away tightly in my mind so I could later go back to it and study what happened. It was surreal.
For the longest time I couldn't figure out how you reach back with your lead hand to grab the hand that has the foot hooked in the elbow. I wold fall over when I tried. I thought it was a core issue or that my hips wouldn't allow me to.
Epiphany! The key to this is to push your arm away with your foot and hold the arm in place resisting the push from the foot. A strong tension is built by that balance. The act of pushing by the foot in the elbow croock gives you something to hold the body up with. I thought it all came from the front side but was pleased to find the answer on my own. Its yin and yang. Push and pull. Its an active sort of balance. Now I am contemplating what else in life is like that. Where the act of resistance, just the right amount of resistance, holds us up.....
When I started doing asanas to address my tight hips I was only able to do Pigeon Pose and it was quite uncomfortable and sometimes painful. It took fierce concentration and focusing on my breath not to bail and say fuck this and continue to stay the same uptight, tight hipped, broken person. But I didn't. I kept at it and believed that it would get better. It just had to.
After a while I could do a half mermaid. I din't just work on my hips but my hip flexors too. Every day I sat with the discomfort and breathed and told myself that I was amazing for being tenacious and brave for facing my fears and trying to change long held patterns.
And today a flood of something came out. I wasn't thinking of anything specific. What I remember thinking and feeling when I was trying to get my hands to meet, with sweat on my brow, was a clear sense of profound curiosity. The negative thoughts were drowned out by curiosity. I wanted to see if today was the day I could to it and I was determined to figure out how the hell to get my hands to meet. I knew it was possible. Even for me. I wasn't thinking of how tight I was or how much stress I hold in my hips. I was just curious and not thinking of anything else. I felt like I had passed a test after my hands met and I started to look up and smile.
So, there is hope for us humans that have baggage to set down along the way. There is hope for us tight legged and tight hipped runners who run to release stress but seem to hold onto some of it anyways. Keep working at what you are working on. Believe. Fake it till you make it! You don't necessarily have to believe yourself at first. Doubt is common and natural to question but keep telling yourself you can meet your goals and learn along the way.
This attainment and release is in no way the end of anything. I still want to grab that back foot with both hands and get my back limber enough to allow my head to tough my foot!