I didn’t make it to savasana today.
I always finish my yoga practice—even if I clip it short, I still have some form of closure, like child’s pose, savasana or seated meditation.
But today, I just got up. Because it finally settled into my tissues while I was in pigeon pose that sometimes, in life, there is no closure.
The other thing that washed over me in pigeon pose was how much I hate New Year’s Eve. The worst period of my life happened, at one point, during the week in between Christmas and New Year’s, and my body—my physical body—still loathes this time of year.
It doesn’t matter how much emotional or mental healing I’ve tried to do.
It doesn’t matter that, as a yoga practitioner, I’ve also worked at getting this wounded muscle memory far, far away from me; that, regardless, there are still some things that move through us and then stay inside of us forever.
Grief, terror, and tragic human experiences touch us, shake us, and, sometimes, maim us irrevocably.
I was in pigeon pose and I couldn’t see if my left shin was parallel to the top edge of my mat—by this point in my practice, the tears had formed a foggy cloud that altered my vision.
I settled into the pose by feeling my way in; by listening to my leg muscles; by shifting and undulating my spine.
And I let the tears rain down onto my sage green yoga mat.
I let myself release, not only into my yoga posture, but into the internal injury that I carried with me into a new year, despite my best intentions over these last several.
And as I listened to the teacher on the podcast I had been following ask me to lift my heart high in pigeon pose, I ignored him and instead bowed humbly over my leg—spent, tired and broken.
But the funny thing is that as the pools of salty tears collected on the green rubber, and as my heart acknowledged a pain that, seemingly, will never completely go away, I felt honest and I felt fresh for the first time in many months.
I turned off the podcast.
I turned off my little space heater, dutifully heating up the room.
I got up and I walked out, with tears collecting in the smile lines around my lips.
And I let it be okay that my yoga practice just ended, without a thoughtful completion. More, I let it be okay that I still have a knot in the back of my throat made up of un-shed tears and a scar-tissue-covered lump running over my heart.
I’ve decided, too, to be okay with where I am right now—with no real ending; with no perfect savasana.
Photo: Flickr/Felipe Ikehara; Author’s own.
This article was first published by elephant journal.