I am cold

Not in terms of temperature. In terms of emotions.

Today I said farewell to my classmates. We were to do so silently, just starting into each other’s eyes, one-by-one. So many people were tearing up and crying. I felt like I was just staring without feeling anything more than awkwardness. I had a tight, awkward smile on my face. I sometimes did slow blinks to express warm feelings, as I do with my cat. (Apparently that’s one way cats communicate.) I watched eyes that were tearful dry up as we stared at each other. Because of my coldness?

I really couldn’t feel it. I mean, for one thing, I will still see everyone at least a few more times. Some I will still try to see regularly. So I couldn’t really say and feel goodbye. Also, I think I am just cold. I know my sister thought so when I didn’t cry at my aunt’s funeral.

Does that make sense? Being prone to depression and yet unemotional? Maybe it’s the disconnect between me and my feelings that led to depression?

I don’t know. I just know that more often than not, I don’t feel strong connections to people. A protection mechanism? A side effect of my lack of trust?

Something to think about.

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The more I train to become a yoga teacher, the less I like yoga!

I had another yoga teacher training weekend. This one was less intense than normal and I laughed all throughout. But I left so angry!!! It’s almost like I don’t even want to do yoga anymore.

I think there are a few reasons.

1) I am tired. It’s a huge time commitment and physical commitment. It also has tons of homework to do whenever we aren’t practicing. I have a full time job and I also need to find a new job for when this contract ends. So yoga feels like a burden now instead of something that refreshes me.

2) I sprained my ankle the other week, so a lot of poses just don’t work for me right now. I had a lot that did work for me this weekend, but I miscalculated once and hurt my ankle again and I felt frustrated.

3) We did intense quad stretches at the end that are apparently real triggers for me. To begin with, they were poses I hate because they are awkward for my knees and I can’t settle into the posture. Also, it was yin practice so we had to be there a long time. But we were given another variation that was supposed to be more accessible. It worked for a bit but then we were supposed to settle and I didn’t have the right props to do so. All of a sudden I went from my good humoured attitude throughout the weekend to being really angry and about to burst into tears. I just stopped and did a pose that I found more relaxing. But it troubles me when I react so strongly. Why am I veering to anger and tearfulness? Why does this keep happening? Aren’t these poses supposed to release these feelings so that they go away?

4) I got back my teacher’s feedback on the yoga class I taught and I hadn’t done as well as I thought. Lots of goods but few excellents, and several satisfactory and needs improvement areas. I’m not used to low grades and I don’t deal well with them.

5) I have a sneaking suspicion that I forgot my meds this morning but I really don’t know. I need to fill up my weekly pill box so I’m not relying on my faulty memory. Or maybe I’m just hoping that is the case because I don’t like how quickly my moods are covering the spectrum.

6) No matter that I try not to think about it, I’m stressed about finances and long term work and it’s never far from the surface.

7) In the normal scheme of things I choose what form of yoga I do and when and can suit the style of practice to how I feel at a certain time. That’s not the case with the teacher training and so much of it seems to clash with my preferences.

At this point I almost wish I hadn’t signed up for teacher training. I have a headache, I’m mad, I’m sad and I’m frustrated. This seems to entirely defeats the purpose of why I sought yoga out to begin with – to find peace.

I’m just feeling really grumpy right now. 😦

Poses that trigger

This was a tough weekend at yoga training. We did a lot of poses that can trigger major reactions in some people.

First there were the backbends. These are actually really great for depressed people because they are energizing poses. I quite like them. But if you also have anxieties and traumas, they can really hit a nerve. Except for the ones done on your stomach, backbends expose all your vulnerable parts – belly, heart, neck, genital area – as you curve yourself backwards. It’s not uncommon for these poses to cause people to break into tears.

If that weren’t challenging enough, today was all about hip openers. These I really reacted to. Funnily enough, I had different reactions to both sides. When opening my left side I felt really angry! I wanted to yell at the teacher for the torture she was making us go through and for not keeping the poses short. But some poses on the right side made me almost tearful!

The hips are apparently where we store all of our emotional baggage. So if you’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for most of your life, that can be a lot! When you open the hips physically, it can then trigger the release of a lot of emotions. It’s also not uncommon for these poses to bring on anger and tears.

Also, after a LOT of resistance, I opened myself up a little mentally to some poses that I HATE! I mean really, really HATE! Not only are they hip openers, they are awkward poses that seem physically impossible for my body shape (alas, quite overweight thanks to depression). One is called “cow face” (weird, I know!). It’s a really terrible pose where, instead of sitting cross-legged, you bring the knees together in the centre, one on top of the other with the feet out to opposite sides. All the while keeping your butt firmly rooted to the floor. I could never do it, and while I’m always quite happy to do alternate poses with props, these ones were completely useless to me, working nothing whatsoever. I’d get so frustrated. But today, after I interrogated the teacher and explained my frustration and how none of the other expressions of the pose did a thing for me, a small aside helped me find the way to make it work! I could do the original pose as long as I went in from a different direction than the norm! That made me really happy.

The next hated pose is fire logs. You have your legs squared in front of you and one knee on the ankle of the lower knee with the other ankle over the knee of the opposite knee. Essentially your calves are stacked one atop the other like fire logs. Here, too, the reason for my hatred was that the pose seemed physically impossible for me. But now I can find the pose, 🙂

Aside from the occasional emotional roller coaster and struggling through anatomy class, it was a good weekend. I’m not as exhausted now and was even able to socialize at lunch. I’ve often been leaving and taking a nap instead because the program is so heavy, physically and mentally.

I’m not feeling sore or too exhausted. And I think I’ll be ready for work tomorrow, and maybe even yoga too. We’ll see. I’m also really thinking about starting to run again. I feel like maybe I need that outlet for the stuff yoga can sometimes bring up!

Have a great night. 🙂

Still a Little Fragile

Overall, I’m getting a lot better. But sometimes little things happen to show that I’m still a little fragile.

Today I noticed a piece of paper on my car that must have been added on Sunday or Monday. A little piece of paper with girlish handwriting and a mean-spirited message. The person took the time to write me a note to wish me a terrible day! I was really hurt and it almost made me tear up. It’s very silly but I can’t believe the note was left on my car while I was at yoga! By another yogi!

It said “Thank you for your terrible parking job, I hope you have a terrible day!” It think it was at yoga because it’s a really cramped parking lot, especially now with all of the snowbanks and because there aren’t marked spots. I did park in a tight spot but I was perfectly straight and as evenly spaced between the cars as possible. I didn’t have a choice – it was the only space left in the mess of a parking lot.

Anyways, I wasn’t upset by the criticism. It was the sentiment. I’ve been following so many blogs about kindness and the random nice things people do for each other, that I was taken aback by the random act of meanness. By a yogi. It really hurt that someone would wish terrible things on me.

Well, of course, I got over it. But it did make me realize that I’m still a bit fragile as I work on my recovery. My shell isn’t as strong as it used to be.

In any case, I went back to yoga today and relaxed as best I could. Some people don’t think beyond their immediate anger and I won’t let that ruin my day.

I hope you each have a wonderful day/night!