Sometimes when I am really feeling in a dark place I try to check in with my body. Where am I feeling the darkness and where is the pain centered? Most of the time it is centered in my chest. I tend to have more problems with my asthma when I am having a hard time. Yet something that I always feel is a tightness in my whole body.
It feels as though my body has closed in on itself and solidified. The muscles all feel tight and I have very little range of motion. And though yoga and I have a strained relationship yoga has been helpful. I often think of yoga as that friend that keeps offering you a glass of water when you are thirsty only you don’t realize you’re thirsty. And then when you finally figure out that yes, indeed you are thirsty the friend hands you the water, without rolling their eyes.
It is at this time that I find that I have to open my heart a little bit and accept the hand of a friend. I do not have a steady yoga practice, obviously. But I do have a few positions that I do that help open the door to a more relaxed body. I have found that by locating where I am feeling the pain and the stress I can better judge how to help myself. Panic and stress are located in my chest. Fear and trauma memory are in my feet, (which were damaged when I was young), and most everything else settles into my shoulders and back.
By understanding my body, which has taken me a long time, I can work out with whatever is bothering me. And yoga helps me get through to those spots. If I do it. Standing with my palms pressed together behind my back, fingers pointing up has centered me and allowed me to think through whatever is pressing on me more than anything else. It helps me to breathe and find that opening in the door that I need to be able to step out of the dark place.
For today I am accepting the glass of water that is offered to me. I will quiet my mind and feel my body return to me. In slow and small increments that allow me to breathe.