I have been a bit quiet the past two weeks. I have thought of you and my promise to post yoga poses every week to help you in your home practice.
But I also promised you that I would be real, real in my yoga, real sharing with you. I need some time to just be with yoga, and you. I hope that this honesty will be ok.
Yoga has been a part of my recovery from addiction, drugs and alcohol, my healing and my learning to accept grief in my life. Yoga has taught me how to stay in my body through the grief process, knowing that it is a process, not an event. As I have learned that all transitions are sacred, so is my movement through pain. Just like the beauty moving from Warrior 3 to 3 legged dog. Finding balance, coming from the real place of the core, quieting the mind, opening the heart.
Yoga has helped me through several touches of loss.
I remember losing a friend to suicide. Those days were so bad and the weekend after I got the news, I couldn't fill my time with busyness. I just knew that by the coldness that filled my body and the fight or flight that captured my heart, I had to get into action or a relapse was imminent. I went to 3 sober support meetings that day, talked with friends who are sober in between. I went to two yoga classes that day, one that I taught and one that I allowed myself to be loved by a Yoga Nidra teacher. ( thank you again Doug!) It was through this work that the absolute pain moved in my body to a level where I could feel my breath again, knew I was in control of my emotions and could continue to help others to process out mutual loss.
One time ,a few years later, I was sitting on my mat, waiting for class to begin and I received a call that another friend died while fishing. Just had his fishing reel in his hand, had a headache and was gone. I had a choice, to cancel the class or to breathe. So I choose to sit in the quiet on my mat, allowed the deepening breath to gently open my tight chest of shock , ache and the tears flowed. Not forced, no heaving in my crying, just within the flow of the pain. By the time the students came into the class, I could regain my sense of flow. Not pushing the pain away but integrating it into my experience and practice on that day.
This week, the matriarch of our family, the last of a loving generation is lying in a hospital bed, slowly passing from this world to the next. The pain in me is more palpable than I thought it would be. I am finding that talking with people is too much, but being and moving with people is filling my soul. Hugs, gentle touching. This morning I did not cancel the yoga class, but taught it with deep grief and intention in my breath and movement. The students were gentle and kind, accepting that my grief was real, my honesty, gave them a way to move within their own process and self acceptance.
In my home I have a sacred space on my dining room table set up, holding my heart while I move through and allow this pain to integrate in to my forever. In that I feel a connection with my ancestors of past and am teaching my boys how to move through the pain with tradition and grace.
And again I am grateful for yoga, for teaching me both how to flow, but also how to allow sacred transitions. There is no hurry to get better ( whatever that is), no forcing a smile that isn't genuine nor forcing tears that are dishonest. Yoga has taught me that every change is sacred, to be moved through with honor, eventually with grace and joy.
So this week's yoga class will be all flow, flow of life, flow of community and flow of love. And together we will celebrate the sacredness of us, creating space to be real and honest.
All my love,
Sandra Kozlowski, CDP, CAAR, AAS, RHY 200
Curvy Yoga Certified, Y12SR Certified, Yoga for All Certified
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