It was a Saturday morning when my son passed away.
The following Tuesday, in a state of shock, almost apathetic, I walked down to my regular yoga class. I had hardly slept. I needed to feel the familiar comfort of a yoga class.
I arrived a little after 7h30 am. The class had already started. Being a non guided class, each student was doing their own sequence at their own pace. I walked towards Miguel, my teacher, who was supervising and assisting the students individually.
He smiled at me in his welcoming manner.
We hugged good morning. I couldn’t smile. I had to say it. I had to form in my mouth the sound of each word of this irreversible end. I whispered, almost crying ‘Miguel, my son died’.
So, there I was, like every Tuesday and Thursday mornings, ready for my yoga class.
Except that this morning I was in another planet and I was no longer the same person. My heart was broken to pieces, my mind in disbelief, my body slow and heavy. I needed to do something with it like moving or stretching. Something, anything, to diminish or forget the horror of that impossibly scary reality.
Miguel held me in a unhurried hug. I was trying to contain the tears that were already rolling down my cheeks.
He said with great gentleness: ‘let yourself cry in the postures. You need to cry. Let your body open’.
Obediently, I went through the sequence of postures, in a kind of mental absence.
I knew I needed to focus on the breath in order to keep my mind steady and calm. ‘Inhale 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds’ was my mantra throughout the whole practice. I held on to the breath like it was my lifeline.
I arrived at the challenging Wheel posture. It is a powerful back bender and chest opener. I asked Miguel for assistance so that I could enter the pose in a supported way.
I held the posture for 5 long breaths – 4 seconds in, 4 seconds out – feeling the deep stretch, the heat of the pose and my own sweat. My heart was beating faster; I was getting hotter; my breath was breaking through the pain. I repeated the pose again for the same 5 long breaths – as if my body was gasping for air and space.
And then I was ready.
I could feel them mounting to the surface. Tears now started pouring out.
The doors to my grieving were opening.
I was crying out my agonizing pain
allowing myself to cross the threshold into the absolute unknown
and sinking into the unspoken mystery
photo by claude renault