Yoga played a role in my divorce. The decision to do my yoga teacher training had a bigger impact on my life than I had predicted. My yoga teacher training allowed me to make space and allow time for me at a time when it felt very difficult, if not impossible, to carve that time out for myself. I was a stay at home mum and homeschooling my young sons in an extremely unhappy marriage. It gave me a reason to find that time. I had somehow been given permission through the training to find that time.
Creating space for myself and carving out the time allowed me to realise that I was important, that there was more to me than being a daughter, wife, a mother, and a teacher.
I woke early before the rest of the house woke. I rolled out my mat, the act becoming part of the ritual. At first it was about getting out of bed! Then it was about the asana sequence, the difficulty of the handstand or the number of breaths in headstand. It was a physical practice. Over time I started noticing my breath. The focus on the breath was the first step on the path to the inner journey that I needed to go on.
I had been holding my breath while I walked on eggshells keeping the peace in an emotionally abusive relationship. At the time I did not realise that my marriage was an emotionally abusive one. I just thought I had to keep trying harder to make everyone happy.
There was nothing perfect about this. Sometimes my practice was only 5 minutes long. I sometimes had to use the TV as a babysitter for my sons and try to not feel guilty. I had to set boundaries about that time being my time, against the tide of demands.
But I unrolled my mat every day. As the months then the years passed a side -effect of the practice was a deepening connection to my inner world. A deepening connection to my body, mind and emotions. I started to look within for a more authentic aspect of myself. I was no longer looking at culture or my environment to tell me who I was. Rolling out my mat everyday became an act of radical self discovery.
My practice evolved from breath centred physical practice to include journalling and meditation. It allowed a way for me to connect to myself and my inner landscape. This connection to my inner world was not all unicorns and peace. Rather I realised how depressed I was. And that I need help to navigate the dark shadows of my soul. I needed a good therapist.
At first the therapy focused on my husband, I blamed him for the deep unhappiness in our marriage and for everything that was wrong with it. It took a long time for my to see my role in our marriage. It takes time to get through the layers, to unearth our stories and patterns that lead us to make the choices we make.
I began understanding that I was the creator of my own life.
One day I had finally had enough. I told my husband I wanted a divorce.
My mat caught me every morning. I sat in meditation and wept. Tears that did not seem to end rolling down my cheeks. I wept for the broken dream of getting old together, I wept with guilt for destroying my marriage, I wept for my sons. But these were also the buried tears of past hurts and humiliations being released.
I journaled. Anger and resentment spilling onto the pages, tears staining. Still my mat caught me. My tears during the breakup mostly fell on the mat. This is is where I felt safe and accepted, where I could surrender to the deep grief I felt. In the quiet of my practice I could surrender to the intensity of my emotions and truly feel them as they passed through me. The years of practice gave me the inner strength to finally stand up fo myself. As within so without . My early morning ritual became my refuge. What started as a physical practice become the island I needed in the turbulent waters of my divorce.
" If we do not believe within ourselves this deeply rooted feeling that there is something higher than ourselves, we shall never find the strength to evolve into something higher" - Rudolf Steiner.
By Amanda Wiart- The Founder of Yogi Spirit.