The frigid January night I kicked my ex-husband out, my yoga mat took a beating without complaint. My mat absorbed the fire from my feet, the sweat from my body, and the tears from my heart. I rooted into my mat like a tree while the tornado of my ex-husband’s deceit swirled around me. Standing on my right leg with my left foot tucked inside my right thigh, I lifted my heart and my arms upward toward the sky and waved both my middle fingers in the air. Marriage is supposed to be forever. Only mine wasn’t meant to be.
I learned how to breathe through four months of rage, anger, and emotional upheaval. My yoga mat gently held me in child pose as night after night, I f-bombed and cried my pain away. Through my uncovery months, my yoga practice showed me that the impermanence of “ever after” is no different than the impermanence of each breath. Letting go of my nineteen-year marriage and life as I knew it was not easy but I learned to untangle myself from the past and live my life forward.
Stage Two: Can I Just Punch Him in the Face?
In hero pose my yoga practice helped teach me to be still in my anger. Sitting with my right knee wrapped around my left knee and both feet flexed outwards, I rounded my spine as I bowed my forehead to my top knee. I learned how to recognize my anger, accept it, to imagine holding it the palm of my hand and gently blowing it away with each exhalation. At first my ex-husband was the object of my anger – a speck of dust that I’d visualize blowing away with my breath and some days I’d just imagine punching him in the face.
As I unpeeled my anger I learned who I was really angry with – my ‘self.’ I did everything I could to save a marriage irreparably damaged by my ex- husband’s double life and in doing so, I compromised myself, my daughters, my values, my principles and my own dreams and aspirations.
It wasn’t easy owning up to my anger and why I was so angry. Sure, it was easier to point my finger and blame my ex for all the crap but at the end of the day, I made choices that weren’t always right for me. Or my kids. Or even my ex.
Stage Three and Four: The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory
Grappling with a profound sadness, I allowed my yoga practice to take me where I needed to grow.
Eagle pose surprised me as I took flight in this challenging pose. Twisting my right arm over left with my palms touching each other while wrapping my left leg around my right leg, I could feel the return of my independence. Balanced in this posture, I often imagined myself flying triumphantly out of Salvador Dali’s “Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory.” I could see myself standing in the middle of the painting surveying the loss of time as it melted off the clock. I could see the shattered world I was afraid to leave. I knew this fractured miserable world – and for years I was determined to keep my family together no matter what. Continue reading >>