Yesterday, I almost touched my toes.
I’ve forgotten just how mind-body-soul yoga is. But also, the last time I attempted to start a yoga practice a few years ago, I wasn’t being open with myself about a lot of things, and I honestly think that me pushing things down that I needed to deal with affected my yoga practice. I don’t want to go into all of that right now, but the point is that over the past few years I’ve finally become…me. With everything out, nothing hidden or suppressed, just…me. It’s been difficult and I’ve lost some friends along the way, but sometimes that has to happen.
And I can tell, because on only day 6, something finally clicked for me. I literally only had time for 5 minutes of yoga, so I didn’t even bother with the app – instead, I decided to work on one pose. Just one. So I chose uttanasana (forward bend) because as I’ve said in the past, I can’t get anywhere near touching my toes.
I stood in front of the mirror, looking at myself from the side, and watched my body as I tried to do the forward bend. I stared at my hips. I focused and breathed. And then I realized how incredibly tightly clenched my muscles were. Like…I’m-being-attacked-and-have-to-hide clenched.
Anytime I do anything with my body, this happens to me. Without going into it too much, I have PTSD from a childhood thing, and getting comfortable with my body – this thing that someone else used – has been a really long, arduous journey. I’m still on it. And with yoga, there is no hiding. Your body and breath and soul are all there is.
So I breathed. I breathed like I’ve never breathed before, and forced my muscles to relax. And then…you guys…and then I suddenly actually did hinge at the hips, and I very nearly touched my toes. It burned like hell, but I nearly touched my toes. I almost cried.
To think that this is what has been holding me back – not my own body, but this thing that I’ve been carrying since I was little…this thing that someone else inflicted on me…it made me sad and angry at the same time. And it made me angry that I’ve projected this onto my own body. Just like I blame myself for letting it happen, I blame my body for not being flexible enough or good enough. I blame myself for not being good enough to not be abused. It’s crazy how connected it all is and I honestly have never thought of it like that before. Whew! That was a lot to confront all at once.
But I let it go. With another breath, I let it go. Because you guys. I nearly touched my toes. And I choose to be elated about my progress rather than hold onto my anger and hurt. I’m letting it go. And I’ll keep letting it go for as long as it takes.