Undertows

ImageOn Friday I was at a new yoga studio, one I think I’ll keep attending, in part because it is at a good time for me (early evening) when I’m feeling more energetic and also because the style seems less gym-centric while still being physical.

The teacher said some things that have affected me over the course of the last week and have helped me relax in a few ways. She spoke of how we are rivers with so many currents in them, complex and shifting, and how disguised within those currents are undertows. These undertows are what we discover in our yoga practice. They can drag us down and drown us. They make us only feel really strongly what is happening in that moment like there are no other currents and no river. Lost in the undertow. I dig the river undertow metaphor. Maybe growing up beside a river that drowned a few people in my lifetime makes me keenly aware how dangerous undertows can be and it resonates. 

When I have felt overwhelmed this week by whatever life situation, I stopped. “Undertow. Temporary.”, I thought.  I was still emotional but I was able to stop that cycle of self-soothing with food. I could see beyond whatever was going on in my life, take some deep breaths, and acknowledge what was happening and my pattern of thinking. 

I don’t know that it’ll work in all situations but it’s been a good tool and I’m grateful she spoke about it.

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