When You Are Sad.
When you are sad at Yoga, there is no Rumi to fix you.
There is no Insta-Yogi to inspire you or pumped-up playlist to dress you up, no words to anchor you to the life before.
When you are sad, when you are very, very sad…
When broken of heart, spirit and toenails all at once, you cannot cling to the ivied phrases your Yoga teacher scrawls out in class. There is nothing that will attach to you because you are as empty as you had been full…
… for nothing good grows in a wound.
When your broken pieces lie shattered around you, you wonder what can be left. What can you be made of if everything you were is now here, on the sidewalk, in a pile of shards? You can’t pick them up as the pieces are too sharp to be held and too small to be recognizable — just dust and trash.
When you are too sad to be a human who walks and thinks at once, when you have to stop at the side of the road to heave out great, rolled-up sobs, you do not want to be seen. Drowning in unpredictable crying tides, pulled under by spurt and snot, clutching your sides as you fold, as a last effort against collapse. Sometimes not even then. Pressed to the concrete, you glimpse a flash of the glass-dust and you know the tide has won.
When someone says (and they will) the wrong thing, about false hope, how everything will be okay, or that Yoga is about choosing to be happy, you will want to punch them in the face, twist their arm behind their back and force them to the ground to look closely, very closely, at the glass fibers you shed everywhere.
You can’t, though. It won’t help you.
Even that painful glitter that trails bears no trace of its combustion, tells no visual story.
When you are sad at Yoga, and you will be…
… what’s left is broken toenails and ears, kneecaps and ribs all strung together with the threads of your shredded soul. Don’t use your eyes — they can’t see anyway. Your battered spirit flosses through your pieces, puppets you. No one said a puppet had to be graceful. No one said a puppet should smile. No one expects a puppet to win against a tide.
When you are sad, be sad. Be an exploded piece of glass, a busted puppet, a drowned heart, an opened wound.
Nothing good grows there, because it shouldn’t.
Stop trying to make good what just plain isn’t. All the cheerful messages in all the world will not godmother you out of sadness. There is no magic potion, no fairies collecting the dust of you. But there is a time. There is a later place where your open wound will heal with new skin and new purpose. Be sad now and let this promise of good things grow in that later place instead.
When you are sad at Yoga, you are sad at everything.
Be sad now.
Be sad everywhere.
Pretending to be more makes you less, but honesty makes you strong, and that sliver of bravery is more Yoga than any inspirational quote will ever be. There is nothing else to do or bigger you can be, than to shatter to atoms.
When you are sad.
Kate Stone is a job collector. Since graduating Indiana University with a degree in Journalism and French, she has worked in schools, museums, corporate offices, gyms, retail stores, restaurants, non-profits, and Yoga studios. Currently, Kate is a writer, bartender, and Yoga instructor living in Boston. Sleep, sunshine and movement can usually cure her of anything. She is a regular contributor at Yoganonymous and Recovering Yogi. You can connect with her on Twitter.