March 7, 2016

Finding Focus on my Yoga Mat.

savasana woman eyes closed lying down face

After a collective total of two hours of sleep last night, I woke up exhausted and confused.

There was no way I was going to get back to sleep because I had reached the point when you are so tired, your anxiety feels out of control and your brain won’t turn off to sleep—sort of like a sleep deprivation hangover.

It comes along with the parenting territory.

I made the decision that there was no other way for me to go about this day than to get my ass to yoga.

At best, my yoga practice has been inconsistent over the last three years. I went from a strong daily practice to a sporadic practice to no practice at all, and now I am finding my own routine of including asana (yoga pose) and meditation into my life again.

I’ve also had two children in the last three years. I lost my firstborn child. I’ve found myself stuck in grief as well as postpartum depression and anxiety.

After my son died, a lot of the healing I first felt was on my mat.

All the heart and throat work and opening really initiated some of the greatest growth I felt after he died. On many days, I found myself simply laying there in a pile of tears.

And with time, that changed, and I grew strong.

In the time away from my practice I kept remembering that healing.

That love.

That strength that I felt even amidst the discomfort of tapas (to burn or create heat internally), and I wanted back in.

And that’s where I found myself today.

It was a flowing class, so I anticipated that I might have my ass handed to me. And considering how insanely tired I am (like verge of tears tired), I knew there was a good chance this class would indeed elicit tears.

I also knew that no matter how tired I might be, or how much I may be resisting going to class, there has never in my life been a time where I have walked out of that class not feeling better.

Even when I am forcing myself to go, I am always grateful that I went, especially when I am laying there in savasana (corpse pose).

But today was really difficult.

My muscles are sore, my body is achy, and my mind and mood are suffering because of the sleep deprivation.

I knew it was going to be even more of a challenge. I entered the room, set up my mat and props and quickly realized I was in a part of the room that is unfamiliar to me.

And today, as we started practice, what I noticed almost immediately, was that it was more difficult because I didn’t have a drishti, or point of focus.

I was floating in the middle of the room where there were no objects above me or directly in front of me, and for many of the standing and balancing poses, I had nothing visual to concentrate on.

I could feel the tears in my eyes. I had no drishti and it was making me struggle that much more.

It was at that point where I settled into my breath, and started looking inward and thought about my daughter, my son, my partner. I thought about wanting to find connection, strength and healing during this practice. I wanted this time on the mat and out of my normal routine to replenish my resources, to re-energize and to be the best version of myself.

This internal pep talk helped.

With nothing to look at, (except for a plain white ceiling), I started speaking to my spirit guides and telling them what I needed to draw from their strength. Before I knew it, class was over.

I lay there in savasana, knowing full well what my lesson was today.

Without a drishti in life, we can sometimes find ourselves thrashing around in our everyday. The focus doesn’t have to be a tangible thing—it can be the painting on the wall, or the spot on your classmates mat. But it can also be a feeling, a place you want to go physically or emotionally.

I walked out with this greater appreciation for my focus in life. And I love that about my time on the mat, that nearly every time I go to class, my experience and my time practicing is a metaphor for life.

So, whenever I find myself struggling in my everyday, as if I am wandering aimlessly in life, I can draw upon that internal guide and connect with those that I love that are physically with me, and those like my son, who I am only able to carry in my heart.

For me, they are my guides and life drishti.

From within a place of emptiness and confusion I was able to open myself up and learn this valuable lesson, which was far greater than any asana I could have pretzeled myself into today.


Healing from Heartbreak Through Yoga.


Author: Carla Grossini-Concha

Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Amy/Flickr


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