I mentioned recently that I started a group yoga workshop with my therapist.
The past few weeks, in addition to going to the workshop, I’ve been attending yoga classes at the gym as well. And, while both classes are very different, it’s been interesting to start feeling with my body.
Up until this point, I’ve been very aware about what’s going on around me, with me, and in me. But, my body, a place of total disconnect for me, always lay somewhere in the abyss. I never really considered it in a respectful way. In my addiction, and well into my sobriety, I was not very kind to myself. While drinking and drugging, I poisoned my body, I looked in a mirror and berated my body. I punished my body with overeating, under-eating, and excessive exercise.
As I sat in my mindful yoga workshop earlier in the week, it occurred to me that this is my vessel. It sounds so basic. But, when you actually stop and think about yourself, your spirit, your guts and insides, your emotions, your feelings. They’re all here, in this one space. This vessel.
As my spirit strengthens, my respect for myself increases, and my ambitions begin to rise to the top, I feel guilty for all the abuse I’ve done to this body I live in. I’ve coaxed it, for so long, in this unwinnable battle against itself, only to find that this is the thing, the case, that carries it all inside. As I delve into deeper water, start scratching the surface of old, complicated wounds, I know that I’m going to have to make peace with this person.
Yoga is never going to be the center of my life. I know this because, being present with my body for that long is uncomfortable. I still go into class feeling hopeful and come out feeling like a cow, even though that’s hardly the type of self-examination encouraged. But, yoga, and forcing myself to be present with that discomfort of the body has helped me to raise questions about my soul. The origin of things. The damage we do to the vessel, because it is the easiest thing to hurt, with little effort, and no one to tell you to stop. It’s cowardly. And, as I begin to step up for myself in so many other aspects of my life, I begin to see that I do not want to be a coward.
The worst hurt in my life, hurt that drove me to drink, to harm myself in many ways, was hurt inflicted by the indifference and avoidance of cowards. And, this yoga practice has helped me to see my own coward inside. The one that takes the pain of the outside world out on itself. I know that now is the time to tend to this vessel, however beaten and mistrusting.
If this is my ship, there are repairs to be made, otherwise it won’t be long before we begin taking on water. And, at this point, I refuse to sink.