Heartbreak

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However awful the storm of my disappointment, it's a response that belongs to me. It's my heart, after all. My territory, my kingdom. And since I'm the only one with the authority to surrender it, I can also take it back."

Helen Oyeyemi

Brokenhearted is the best way I can describe the way I’ve been feeling as of late. I can’t sugarcoat it.

The studio is moving into its 4th month of closure this month and we’re not able to take part in phase 4 of reopening. This is a heavy load to contend with and my heart has been feeling heavy.

Heartbreak can be excruciating. And a lot of us tend to try to resist, avoid, or “gloss over” the pain that comes along with it. But in the long run, that only makes things worse.

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It can be hard to know what to do when we’re broken-hearted. One thing that can quickly provide a haven in those moments is our yoga mat.

Our yoga practice can help us create a safe space to sit with our pain. When we are on our mat, we are fully present with our breath, our bodies, and our hearts.

This allows for the process of healing to begin.

The only way—the only way—to heal, is to feel. That is not to say that this is easy. I know that feeling everything can feel unbearable. But even more unbearable is the weight of not feeling. In the end, suffering is the result of not feeling.

Feeling is healing. When we let our heartbreak move through us rather than it finding a place to settle within us, we begin healing.

Use your yoga practice as a place for you to feel. This is so important. Especially during this very uncertain and unprecedented time.

Let yourself fall apart on your mat.

Let it be a place for you to be exactly who are you – even if who you are right now is a broken mess – be it.

When you feel what you’re feeling in your heart during your yoga practice, keep going. Face up to and move closer to your heartbreak instead of running away from it. We need to permit ourselves to feel what’s on our hearts.

In times of heartache, opening our hearts is not a sign that we’re abandoning ourselves to the pain. It is a sign that we’re willing to heal. The key is to keep breathing and opening slowly each time.

You will sometimes lose your cool. Whether it’s from anxiety, fear, or the simple fact that you’re heartbroken. The moments you lose your cool, always, always, always come back to your breath.

Our breath brings us to the present moment. And the present moment is what shows us that we are always okay.

Yes, we may be in pain, but we are breathing, we are alive.

Yoga is the perfect place to practice staying with our breath in daily life. In the moving meditation of yoga, we learn to keep our awareness around our breath. In times of calm and in times of discomfort.

You are so much stronger than you think are. And our yoga practice shows us that – both physically and emotionally. Sometimes we need to see that we’re strong. Stronger than we know. Strong enough to make it through whatever storm we’re facing.

Your yoga practice is the perfect place to remind yourself that you’re going to be okay. Whether it’s staying in a pose longer than you want to or trying a pose you’ve never tried before. Let the practice remind you of how strong you are.

While it may not feel like it in times of sorrow, we are indeed strong and resilient.

Remember this.

Being strong doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to be positive or optimistic. Especially in moments when you’re feeling anything but that.

It means trusting yourself. To be right where you are. We often get caught up with wanting to know the “right” or “wrong” way to go about our emotional healing. In those quiet moments on your mat, when you’re breathing and simply being present with yourself, you’ll know exactly what you need to do.

Trust that.

Trust yourself to know what’s best for you.

I chose triangle pose for this month’s newsletter, because as the heart opens in this pose – it faces upward. I am reminded in this pose that as I feel what’s on my heart, I open myself up in a direction where I can only go upward.

These days, I am committed all the more to my self-care – taking care of me with rest and pause. This can look like

  • rolling out my mat at home and sitting in child’s pose for ten deep breaths,
  • moving through a few sequences,
  • or simply laying on my back in savasana for awhile.

And sometimes that looks like taking a step back and allowing myself to rest and pour into my well. Often, the latter is what I’m lacking and where I need to be, in order to feel and heal.

Living with a broken heart is never easy. And there are so many ways to try to avoid it. But the best thing to do in times of suffering is to face yourself. And one of the best places to do that is through your yoga practice.

Create a haven on your mat. It’s okay if this is the only place you can manage to do so.

Keep coming back to the practice as often as you need to.

And whatever you do, keep breathing.

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