My Yoga Practice Saved My Relationship With Myself
Sierra Vandervort // July 22, 2020
I wasn’t looking for crazy, radical enlightenment when I first came to the yoga practice. Much to the contrary – I was simply looking for something to occupy my time.
I had just gone through a pretty upsetting breakup – the kind that totally blind sights you like a swift punch to the gut. Suddenly,` I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with myself. I had unconsciously wrapped my entire life & sense of worth up with some other human. And before you jump in with – “well there’s your problem you silly girl” – remember that this past version of Sierra hadn’t learned that lesson yet. So, cut her some slack.
So with my newfound free time, I started visiting my local studio on a regular basis. I’d try all kinds of classes – Hot Sculpt to Aroma Gentle – yin and yang and hatha and everything in between. I’d always leave class with the post-workout endorphins high, and didn’t think much else of it.
But something radical was shifting inside of me.
One evening I came in for a slow flow class (less of a workout, more of a breathe & chill style). The instructor called for pigeon pose – a deep hip opening posture that has you laying on your belly.
As I closed my eyes I felt a sudden & immense rush of sadness, for seemingly no reason. I was totally taken aback. Before I knew it I was crying quietly on to my mat. Still laying on top of my bent leg, praying no one could hear me. It was as if a flood gate had opened, and through the rest of the class I let soft tears stream down my cheeks.
As I lay on my back at the very end of practice, eyes closed with one hand on my heart, I felt a gentle sense of calm. You know, that great after-cry feeling. I listened to my breath flow softly through my chest – still strong & reliable even amongst all the raw tenderness I felt inside.
For the first time in what seemed like forever, I felt content. There was no nag of worthlessness, no anxiety over feeling unwanted, no sense of waiting for someone else to reach out. I was just me, and I realized that that was ok.
I had come to yoga as a hobby, and admittedly as a distraction, but I ended up finding my home. Not in that specific studio, not with that specific teacher, but within myself. Since that day, my practice has followed me across the country & and through plenty of other heartbreaks. My practice taught me where my home is.
My body is my home. My spirit is my home – and nothing in the chaos of this external world can take that away from me.
People may hurt you. Life may throw you obstacles, and of course we’ll respond to them. I’m not suggesting you completely zen-wash your thoughts & try to force yourself in to contentment all the time.
Of course, I still get bogged down when things don’t go as planned. But the yoga practice teaches us that all of that is an illusion. It’s our mind attempting to find a sense of stability & comfort. “If I can just keep the house spotless. If I could just have the job of my dreams. If he would just love me back.” All of that is you giving the power of your happiness away. It’s unsustainable, and none of it is true. It’s all too volatile and will fall away to nothing soon enough. But you’ll always have my yourself.
You are your own eternal – because you are divine light – and you’re always carrying it with me.
So how do you drop the illusion? There is no perfect moment. There is only this one. And this one. And this one. You can choose to feel enough, to feel like you are enough.
You are enough!
Choose to build the home that matters – the one that’s inside of you. It’s the only true home you’ll have in your lifetime.