Inside the darkened room

I always cry during yoga.

Nobody knows but my yogi, and I would happily keep this to myself, but today I’m wondering why.

Is it because the lights are low, the room is quiet, and we are encouraged to look deeply inside ourselves as we meditate and stretch?

Is it because I’m stretching muscles that have gone unused for far too long, and as they cry out I do too?

Is it because I have so much trouble with the poses, with my cancerous right breast, the pain in the upper chest and shoulder (from carrying it?), bone pain in my arms and legs and tush (from the Taxol chemotherapy), and now a popped knee (from Sunday’s walk)?

Is it because my yogi is so nice to me, modifying the poses just for me when I need it, nodding when she sees me use the strap to hold my knees, since my right arm won’t cooperate?

Is it because she is simultaneously so nice to the others in the room, modifying their poses to accomodate their masectomies, their ports, their bone pain, and their weaknesses?

Is it because here I feel surrounded by the strength and the weaknesses of the dozen other cancer patients in the room with me?  Each one is sick, each one hurts, each one is fighting for her life … but all of us are here, actively working to regain strength, calm, and balance.

Or is it because here and only here (and in the chemo unit) I focus entirely on fighting the cancer?  Here I am able to put aside thoughts of my little boys, my family, my friends, my fears and their fears, and I can relax and let the toxic tears go.

I still don’t know.  But what I do know is that when I come out of cancer yoga at The Wellness Community each week, I am relaxed, refreshed, and oddly hopeful.


28 Responses to Inside the darkened room

  1. Kristin says:

    Yoga is a means of practicing religion, not just exercise. The poses get you in touch with so many things. Crying makes sense to me. So does hope. I’m glad you leave refreshed!

  2. diatribal says:

    I would think that Crying naturally occurs in many many yoga classes. It is a means of cleansing your body, just like your breathing and meditation. Don’t worry about it and let it come.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Im so thankful to hear that there is a place for you to go and be with other and just let it all go! Its ok to cry and to just focus on you and its really great that Yoga lets you do that!

  4. Dawn says:

    I go to a mom and baby yoga class once a week, at the end is relaxation, and when it’s time for waking she always says the word “gently” – and I cry every time. I thought I was the only one who cried in yoga. I’m glad I’m not alone. Thanks.

  5. Alison says:

    It sounds like a great release..the Yoga and the crying.

  6. Spacemom says:

    OR is it just a place for your soul to say “Hey! I need some healing too. It’s not just the body!”?

    Thinking of you today…and everyday

  7. Leann I Am says:

    It definitely sounds like an emotional release that you need. What a great thing to do!

  8. Stimey says:

    When I’m feeling vulnerable, kindness from others is far more likely to make me cry than meanness. I’m glad yoga is good for you.

    Oh, no! A popped knee! Just what you need, right? I hope the walk, other than that, went well.

  9. Ally says:

    It sounds like such a warm and accepting environment, and the yogi sounds amazing. I’m glad you’re able to cry there. It sounds like a wonderful release.

  10. That’s such a good, good thing. I’m glad you have that as a retreat.

  11. E :) says:

    Yoga allows you to release stress. I’ve been practising it for years, and have seen many people cry in the classes I’ve been to. I’ve also become weepy on occasion if my life has been stressful. It’s such a wonderful release.

  12. Danielle says:

    I’m so grateful that you have a place to go and do that. A place where you can go to be strong. A place to be supported and support others. A place to cry. A place to focus on yourself and not just your family. I wish that I could find a place like that.

  13. Phoenix says:

    My mom is a Therapist and she swears that crying relieves your soul. Maybe that’s why it makes you feel better. The release. 🙂

    ps. You’re welcome for the pink. I read all the time and I’m sending positive thoughts your way.

  14. Its good to let those emotions out–crying always makes me feel better. (My husband thinks that is crazy, but its so true) Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

  15. jen says:

    it’s a sweet release. a safe place. a necessity.

  16. Alice C says:

    What a wonderful gift your yoga teacher has if she is able to make you feel so safe and relaxed.

  17. OK. I can breathe again. I was so worried about you WM when you didn’t post for a couple of days. I don’t know why I feel you need to post every day so I know that you are still traveling along… I just do. 🙂

    I even woke in the middle of the night last night wondering about you. Does that make me a stalker?????? hahahaha

    Maybe I need to get me some of that yoga?

  18. I think it sounds very theraputic.

  19. whymommy says:

    Sorry, MBT — I’ve been pretty worn out lately. But thanks!

  20. Bon says:

    i always weep a little – or at least find myself filled with emotion – in those circumstances whenever i can fully relax and let go and focus inward…be it massage, yoga, even something as frivolous as getting a pedicure. because these infrequent experiences are for me, the only time i really stop long enough to fully turn inward, to my self. when the body is involved, as in yoga and massage, it’s even more intense. and i too leave refreshed.

    i’m glad you have that retreat, and that it nourishes you.

  21. ggirl says:

    Yes, maybe it’s because it’s the only place you can really “let go.”

  22. ~JJ! says:

    Yoga is supposed to flush out the toxins from your body. You are purging…in mind, body and soul.

    Love you! For being so in touch.

  23. WorksForMom says:

    I too am so glad you have a way to ‘exhale’. It really is healthy.

  24. canape says:

    I cried for the first several weeks of my yoga class after I lost Cleatus. I wondered why too.

    And it made my mat slippery. Or that could have been my incredibly sweaty palms.

    I’m glad you have somewhere you can safely release.

  25. amanda says:

    I go for acupuncture and it unleashes me. My body rolls with waves of emotion, sometimes I shudder, silently weeping, other times tears simply rush from the corner of my eyes while my body melts into the chair. I believe it is release, for me to relaxation, for you to the battle your body and spirit are waging. I think you’ve found that place, inside of yourself and inside the world, that your efforts become weightless, not exhausting you, but lifting you. Bravo for allowing yourself to flow in this way.

  26. My instructor used to put on Eva Cassidy singing “Fields of Gold” at the end of every session and I would just lie in shavasana with tears rolling down my temples (and into my ears). Only he knew. I had so much hard stuff going on in my life and in that moment it was intense, but settling and freeing. Tears are so good for you. It’s a special time for yourself. Yoga instructors understand, they see more than any of us will really know.

    Hugs to you.

  27. As a psychotherapist I can tell you that it takes enormous emotional energy NOT to cry when there is crying in there. It is exhausting not to cry when you need to. So it makes sense that as you stretch those muscles, you release the pent up tension from trying so hard not to cry…and simply cry and feel better. Those tears that are no longer held back also strengthen your immune system. Freud called it catharsis.

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