In the workplace, where we spend most of the day, we're told to harness our emotions. You can laugh and be happy, but don't laugh too much. People might think you're goofing off and not doing work. Don't frown too much: people will think you're rude. And Heaven forbid you cry: everyone will know within five minutes and will be all up in your business wanting to know what is going on. So, for 8+ hours a day, you gotta rein it in.
And I think that sucks.
But that's how it is.
And I can cry later...in yoga class.
This past Thursday was a doozy. I had a To Do list a mile long on top of getting phone calls, emails, and overall I felt like a lot of work was being pushed onto me. I left work at 4 pm for Girls on the Run practice, which FLEW by, and then I jumped in the car to go to my gym. I went to Matt's yoga class and on that night he decided to focus on the hips. The hips, and tilting down the pelvis. I couldn't get it. He kept telling us to tilt the pelvis down, but I have no idea how to do that. The frustration of the day followed me into yoga class, and the quick glances I caught of myself in the mirror revealed a painful looks on my face and hair that looked like it had been through a windstorm. All I wanted to do was go into Child's Pose and just be done with it - done with the class, done with the day, etc. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. We finally made it to Savasana and I was so relieved.
Let's back up a few weeks first. One night, as I'm walking out of the gym, Matt falls into step with me, and asks me if I have a hard time relaxing in Savasana. It was strange that he asked me that at the very moment that had been thinking about the lack of relaxation I got from the end of class. I told him that yes, I hadn't been able to turn off my mind. He asked what I was thinking about, and I said, "Honestly, I was thinking about the fact that I wanted to be the first person up after class to put my things away so I didn't have to stand in line at the closet door and waste time." When I said that out loud, I immediately felt ashamed. What a stupid thing to think about. Why couldn't I just enjoy the moment and not worry so much about putting my blanket and block away?
So the next week rolls around and I'm in Matt's class again. Savasana starts and I lay down, prepared to pretend to relax for the next five minutes. Matt comes over to me and says in a whisper, "Let's try something different." He puts an eye bag on my eyes, and one in each hand. And then, he puts two folded-up blankets on my stomach. My Savasana was great. I was extremely close to falling asleep, and I was the LAST person to put my things away in the closet. After class I asked him about putting the blankets on my stomach. He said, "Our undersides, our bellies, are so sensitive and vulnerable. The blankets add cover and comfort." Wow. I was definitely comforted and relaxed.
Fast forward to this past class. Like I said, we finally got to Savasana and I laid down, tears staining my cheeks, not even caring about the blankets or eye bags because I was so tired. Matt saved my day because he came over again, put the eye bags on my eyes and hands, and two blankets on my stomach. The day melted away. Everything melted away. I felt like Matt really cared about my practice and my well-being too. After a day where I gave and gave and gave, someone finally gave something to me. The gift of relaxation.