December 9, 2014

Even Yogis Get the Blues.


A few nights ago, I wept deeply in my husband’s arms with cries that sounded more like that of animal than of a human.

I cried till I no longer knew what I was crying for. I cried for my past, the wicked that sometimes comes raging back like a haunted tale shared and saved for only Halloween.

I cried for the present because of how the past has shaped so deeply the present moments. I cried for how one’s past can sculpt us in ways I’d surely rather not fully embrace, the “Bless the Mess,” aspects of me, the self-loathing side that continues to live deep inside, even as I try to “feed the right wolf,”—the wolf of joy, compassion, peace, self love.

I cried for the years I lived with brainwashing, abusive actions once imposed on me by another, yet somehow remains and continues to surface from time to time through memory.

It’s not that I hate myself—I rather like myself and have learned that self love is the greatest love of all. I deeply cherish it, now. I am fully aware of my numerous blessings and reside in a profound place of gratitude for these blessings each and every day.

I also recognize that it is healthy, even natural, to feel the blues, and that feeling the blues is often enough for it to pass. Sometimes a hearty cry is all that is needed. Like squeezing out a sponge when it is full and ready for emptying, so that more life fluid can be absorbed.

Some say they practice yoga—stretch the blues out through an asana practice.

Some run it out in miles through marathons, on the street, trails, beaches, and some even run it out through constant traveling or movement.

Some ride it out on surfboards, bikes, in cars.

Some write out their blues through poetry, essays, emails, blogs, or post it as their Facebook status. Some dance it out on dance floors, in classes, in the privacy of their homes. Some ignore it, dress it up in new outfits, buy the newest and latest gadgets, take pills, drink booze, sleep to excess.

Some sex it out, read it out, over-work it out. Some listen to the blues, rock-n-roll, opera, to the sound of nature, their breath.

Some meditate, contemplate, educate, renunciate.

There are so many ways to live with the blues and as a yogi, we’re taught to practice equanimity. The yoga practice indeed helps to cultivate a leveling out of highs and lows, where peace is experienced. But yogis are not immune from experiencing the blues. Life is sometimes messy.

The blues are gifts, are our teacher, when we are open to viewing them as such, instead of running away from experiencing them. It’s opportunity to radically accept the notion that life sometimes hurts deeply and that we have the option to ride and/or create waves of emotion.

We can shine our light, our highest selves in the midst of experiencing, swimming in the darkened blue waters. Tasting sweaty tears, like an ocean released from within, when observed with a compassionate, non-judging perspective helps, too.

We can come to see how beautiful we are as works of art when we give the internal storms permission to pass.

It is difficult, no fun, uneasy at times to feel the blues. We can choose to run from it, but when we bear witness to such a range of emotions, we come to see how when our hearts roar like lions they bring with them a beautiful song afterwards.

A song for us to sing after the storms have passed. It’s also simply comforting to know that even yogis get the blues.



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Author: Krista Katrovas

Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Amy at Flickr 



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