Learning to Carry and Catch Myself

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I wander in half asleep, the dark warm room smells of eucalyptus and a cadence of calming music draws others to their mats.

No one speaks.

Feet shuffle quietly, mats lap against the floor as they find their space.

The room is void of everything, yet full of everything at the same time.

I grab a few blocks, a strap and a blanket, rolling the blanket and immediately placing it between my shoulder blades as I settle back into my own mat, letting my head drop off the end of the tight roll.

I breathe.





I repeat it to myself several times until my body has melted into my mat, my mind relaxes and my body slowly awakes.

For the next hour I do nothing but listen.


Relax my shoulders.

Escape the noise.

Seek the silence.

No one needs anything from me. No one has any expectations of me. I simply show up and do my best, move myself without goals or plans. Some days I’m feeling the strength and lean into poses that make me uncomfortable, like triangle. Some days, I can’t even keep my balance on sun salutations.

I literally don’t care.

I get to just be. No phone. No talking. No computer. No “mommy.” No “did you get this.” No “where is that.” No disappointed looks.

Just me.

Most of the time I don’t even open my eyes to see those around me.

It’s completely possible I am the absolute worst yogi in the room. It’s entirely possible that I am awful at each and every pose, but I’m not in any one pose long enough to hang onto my shortcomings.

Fall out of tree? Nail the sphinx. Stutter swinging through to the front lunge, own the warrior. If all else fails, we end in shavasana, which literally means “corpse pose.” So, I mean … even a dead man can do it, sending you go home on a gold star.

And while my eyes are closed, I see clearly.

Have you ever had that experience?  

When the outside world literally goes away, I look inward. I trust my body to lead me. I listen to what it tells me. I encourage it to move forward. I love it both when it conquers and when it fails.

And in that, I feel strong.

I think we underestimate the balance required for feeling strength, I know I do. Often, I expect my mind to carry the strength of everything – my mind, my heart, my responsibilities, my body. I put so much pressure on my head to do the heavy lifting, forgetting that is literally what this body was built for. Heavy lifting.

Our bodies were engineered from dust to carry us, through all kinds of seasons in environment and life, yet this body of mine spends most of its time on the bench or playing manager, carrying the dirty jersey after the game.

In yoga, though, I’m reminded of my grounding. My feet. The support my body is able to give me to hold myself in line and to catch myself when I fall.

Because I fall.

I fall often and regularly these days, and just like that carrying I sometimes forget I’m here to catch myself. I expect others to catch my broken falling heart then feel disappointed when they can’t or don’t know to. I expect others to catch me when I feel overworked and overwhelmed with they already have too much on their own plates, then I am sad when they don’t.

Then I walk into a dark practice and am reminded there I am. I need no carrying or catching, because I was built to support myself – physically, mentally, wholly.

And I am enough.

{Writer’s note} If you’re someone who once tried a yoga class and were bored to death, I encourage you to try again. Finding a good yoga class is like finding a good therapist or the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe – sometimes it takes a few tries. Don’t give up, friend, and DM me if you want some recs. Except for the cookie recipe … that stays in the family.

kate j