freedom from

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Blog, Pre/Post-natal Yoga | Comments Off on freedom from

freedom from

Up to this point in my life, dealing with infertility has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced. After years of trying and failing to have children, the sadness and suffering had managed to permeate into all levels of my existence. My body was a failure, my heart was a heavy machine pumping feelings of stress and anxiety throughout, my breath was a poor player. I was developing strange aches and pains and would cry spontaneously from an overflowing cup of emotion.  From here I can see that my struggle was less about infertility and more about the death of a life I had envisioned for myself.

I understand when people say that they need to hit rock bottom before they can begin to look up and see the need for a shift. I was down there, and after years of denial, I was finally able to acknowledge reality, mourn my losses, and move on. Deciding to head to Costa Rica for yoga teacher training was never about becoming a yoga teacher for me, it was about learning to see my body as more than broken thing, a failed lab experiment. Prior to the training, mostly out of fear of how I would compare to others, I knew I had to get back into my practice in a big way. I started attending the only yoga studio in the small Northern Ontario town in which I was living at the time, and changed the way I was eating. When it was time to head for the rainforest, I felt a bit more solid on my mat, and the anxieties and panicky feelings I had been dealing with for so long were set off the beaten track. I was ready to win my body and mind back, accept them for what they were, and move on as a stronger (albeit childless) self.

My training was rigorous but the morning meditation, intensive pranayama and hours of vinyasa/kundalini fusion yoga per day coupled with nutritious food, sunshine and positive people was like medicine for everything that ailed me. It turned out to be exactly what I needed. Things shifted and I found myself letting go of what I couldn’t have, of what I couldn’t be, and turning towards what I believed I could become. Yoga broke me open and my heart went from lead to light. Two weeks into my training I found out I was pregnant.

I had always heard that if you love something enough, you have to set it free. The wanting can become the heaviest burden, much heavier than the lack of the thing itself. I had become poisoned by my yearning. I was like a factory producing toxic chemicals from my stress, and without a yoga practice or even proper breathing, I had no smoke stack. I had only managed to create the least hospitable body for an embryo that I could biologically manifest, and then caterwauled about my poor fortunes like a victim of circumstance.  Experiences of death, divorce, failure or illness are often beyond our control, but the suffering is a manifestation of our own minds.  Anguish occurs when the lives we envision for ourselves no longer correspond with the lives we are living.  Missing loved ones, yearning for a partner we can’t have, regretting decisions, hoping for children… all of these states of suffering bloom from the gap between the fantasies we refuse to surrender and reality.  To let go of “should be” and to embrace “what is” is the key to freedom and is completely within your own grasp.  When you’re ready.

While I can’t promise that yoga will be the key to setting everyone free from their burdens, I believe that it’s at least a solid place to start. My experience of suffering, breaking, recognizing and healing will always be with me. It’s a reminder when I start to get too caught up in believing that I need more than what I have. The difference now is I have my yoga. Everyday I have my yoga. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that now that I have a regular practice, I also have fewer moments of rock-bottom living when I’m forced to realize, desperately, that I need it. Preventative medicine is a powerful thing.

In the wise words of Pattabhi Jois, “practice, and all is coming.”

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.