Sadness in Practice

 It's been nearly a month since my long-time partner and I split up.  Since that time I've been extremely busy.  I spent the two weeks following the split subbing classes like a madwoman, which was great because it kept me focused and out of my head.  I kept up with my daily practice, which I looked forward to and took much comfort in.  But, with so much change, so many realizations settling in, the practice itself became easy.  Too easy, as though I were numb, not entirely there.  My body was light, flexible, strong without force.  Everything was effortless.  With such a massive shift came so much upward energy, so much prana.

And now the cycle, as it must, has taken a downturn.  I am grounded.  Heavy.  Lumbering through my practice, weighted down with a knotted, gnarly mess of sadness and sensation.  Every morning in the dark, the Surya Namaskar are an expression of my sorrow, but this is not to say that the practice has not been deep, healing, and good.  The asana are like poetry: great joy and great pain are equally powerful inspiration.  In my soreness, I am more connected to my body.  It sends me constant feedback.  I listen and respond accordingly with subtle, even imperceptible adjustments, always looking for that energetic epiphany that comes when every little thing lines up just right.

I'm glad things worked out this way.  I mean that in every sense, but most immediately in the sense that I consider it fortunate that my practice is in a more challenging and real place during these two weeks studying with Swenson.  Had things continued to be so uncomfortably effortless, I don't think I'd be as present in the room or as receptive to David and Shelley.  Working with them has been wonderful.  I feel as though they are truly invested in my practice, not just correcting but encouraging, fine tuning, and guiding me deeper.

I am also glad to be alone.  I feel so blessed by the way things unfolded.  Not only was I released from a doomed relationship that I might never have had the guts or heart to really end (I tried many times but could never hold my ground faced with so much sadness) but I was also completely set free from wishing things had worked out otherwise.  We both changed so much over the years, but I could never see it for what it was until he appeared in a completely different light.  He behaved in such a way during the breakup that I harbor no doubts or lingering desires for what we had.

The good times were good, but when he tried to hurt me, I let go of regret like a scalding hot plate to shatter on the floor and splatter bits of beans and rice and sauce from floor to ceiling.  A bit messy perhaps, but immediate relief.  I'll always be grateful for that.  As unfortunate as this may be for the men in my life, I am more romantic about separation than I am about relationships themselves.  Had he been civil, had we been kind, I might have spent a long time in the dark wishing for a different outcome, wasting the light of consciousness on regret.  It's better this way.

But it still hurts a little to think back on the origins of our love and see the drastic change from that instant chemical bond to the bitter loneliness and aversion of later years.  The early mornings seem to bring this stuff to the surface, tender moments past, made even more painful in the soft glow of recollection, whereas in the bustle of the day these pangs are more easily subdued.  There are only four more days of morning mysore with Swenson.  I am sad for the impending end, but also looking forward to the chance to withdraw to my home practice and absorb the life-changing experience that has been June 2011.  I have much writing to do.  I can feel it amassing, pressurizing, just about ready to pour out.


  1. Hugs Megan!

    The blog bug just bit me too, after I came off blogging for a week or so.

    Btw, I saw your photo in chaturanga - woah, woman. You're looking lean and mean!

  2. Woo-hoo, I just practised neti for the first time, as per your "no to allergies" post. Thanks! I wanted to start off on a more somber note to reflect your topic in this post, but I thought maybe added somberness is not what you need...I stumbled across your blog yesterday and I've done a little reading, and I want to say thanks for sharing, and you seem like a genuinely great person :-). It sounds like you are in a rough spot, and I hope for you that this process leads to a better place.
    I will be reading here, hoping to add more dimensions to my own practice.

    I am not seasonally allergic, but I have food issues and it sometimes causes my nose and what feels like the rest of my head, to clog up. I've been like that for a couple of days, so I gave your neti post a shot - I've always been sceptical of neti'ing, but with your explanation it made sense to me. Thanks for clearing that up - pun intended, ha!

    All the best to you.

  3. Yoginicory - Thanks for the hugs. :)

    It's actually been sort of refreshing to step back and feel something this deeply after such a long run of the "keep your head down and power through" state of mind.

    Hi Anne - Haha! I'm so glad the neti video inspired you to give it a shot. I still do it every morning, and it's fair to say that it's changed my life. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  4. Just letting you know how much I appreciate all your words, and the amazing way you use them.
    Transformation sister, transformation.
    (btw - your blog shows that this post is #108 of 2011 ;)

  5. Hi Megan,

    Great blog!...I've been slow in dropping you a comment to say thanks for adding my blog to your blogroll. Also, a big thanks to you and Patrick for letting everyone share just a little bit in your experience of practicing with David Swenson. Everything I read and hear about David and Shelley suggests that I really should make the time to go to one of their workshops at some point.

    ...and a somewhat unrelated question: is your home base in Austin?...I have a student who will be traveling to Austin in early August and is looking for a Mysore class to practice at while she's there...I'm trying to find out if there are any recommendations from the Ashtanga community? Email at hibiscus102(at)gmail(dot)com if you have any Mysore class recommendations in Austin that you're willing to share.

  6. Time heals all wounds, but it never completely erases the scars. You can choose to let them eat you up, or to embrace them... sounds like you are already on your way towards the latter.

    Breakups might be a time for forward bends - introspective, melancholic. But, in the down cycles - heart openers and backbends and deep, deep breaths!

    Breathe, and all is coming.. Hugs!


  7. ayKim - An auspicious post! Thanks for pointing that out.

    Christine - I'll email you with what I know.

    La Gitane - Thanks for checking in and offering your support. Truly, I feel satisfied and fortunate with the way things have come to pass. I am observing closely and gathering what I can from the experience. Onward and upward.