The Genesis of My Yoga: Part II
The Genesis of My Yoga: Part II
Ruin and the Road to Transformation
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” -B. K. S. Iyengar
Yoga really should come with warning labels. Yes, when we sign up at a studio, we have to sign the “we-will-not-sue-if-injured" paperwork, but that’s what not what I’m referring to here. I’m talking about the “Warning: this product can cause cancer” on packs of cigarettes kind of warning.
Yoga should have one that reads “Warning: this product can cure cancer.” Of course, I mean metaphorical cancer, not literal cancer. I say this because nobody warned me just how much yoga would transform me, those around me, and, thus, my entire life.
A year after practicing at a yoga studio, the seed that had been planted within me germinated, sprouted, and grew faster than bamboo. At the same time, my life was a hot fucking mess. I was juggling 3-4 different jobs to make ends meet, taking my dog to dialysis because she was dying of kidney failure, and living with an unhealthy romantic partner. It’s safe to say that during this time, I needed yoga more than ever because it was the only thing keeping me sane and, at times, alive.
Here’s the thing about yoga that I love/hate: it makes you see things you can’t unsee, and, then, expects you to actually do something about it. As such, yoga made me realize that it was time to quit one of my jobs even if it meant eating ramen every night; yoga made me realize that it was time to let my dog go because her kidneys had completely shut down, and the dialysis was the only thing keeping her alive; and finally, yoga made me realize that it was time leave my partner for good.
During this time, there were practices where it was all I could do to unroll my mat and silently cry in savasana (Corpse pose). I cried for what yoga made me see because I knew what it meant: I had to let go of these parts of my life.
When I finally let go, my entire life was upheaved. Even though I was the one who had pulled the rug out from under myself, it didn’t make it any easier to cope with the changes. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I was broken. So once again, I unrolled my mat and silently cried in savasana, and the universe let me—for a little while.
Just as before, my yoga practice made me realize when it was time to stop grieving and get up off the mat. “Now the real work begins,” the universe said. And my mat became the place where I pieced myself and my life together.
I’m intentionally omitting the phrase “back together again” because what my life and I became were something altogether different from what we had once been. The pieces weren’t put back into their “correct” or original place; the pieces themselves sometimes changed their shape, and so the puzzle became a kaleidoscope never seen before. I was not “put back together”; I was transformed.
In Eat, Pray, Love, author Elizabeth Gilbert says that “ruin is the road to transformation,” and that as a result, “ruin is a gift.” I had cured the metaphorical cancer in my life that I could no longer endure, just like Liz had. Now, it was time to endure the road to transformation. I was reading her memoir as I was going through my quarter-life-crisis, and it was partly through her encouragement that I trusted the universe to transform me during my time of ruin.
The genesis of my yoga is the moment when I stop to listen to the universe and actually hear what it has to say. The genesis of my yoga is the moment I live my yoga off the mat and act on what the universe has told me. The genesis of my yoga is the moment I trust my yoga practice and the universe to transform myself and my life. The genesis of my yoga is each moment I unroll my mat and let go.
I would love to hear your story of how yoga transformed your life! Post a comment below.
*This article is Part II of a three-part series: The Genesis of My Yoga. To read Part I, click HERE.
About Holly Adcock:
Today, Holly Adcock is still a hamburger-eating yogi who practices yoga at 9 o’clock at night after a late English class, except this time, she’s teaching the class as a full-time professor. Her previously published work includes a poem entitled “This Old Room” and an essay called “I’m Sorry, Mr. Jackson, I am Not Real.” She lives in New Bern, North Carolina with her husband, two cats, and one dog. In her spare time, she enjoys making rice bags for her non-profit, Rice Bags With Love, and learning to garden. For more information, visit her website https://hmlynn1.wixsite.com/janeofalltrades or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/holly.lynn.31337.