Yoga + an email

I’m just about to leave for yoga class.  I wanted to let you know that I’m going to work on healing and oxygenating my cells. 

Also, How would you feel if you walked downstairs and saw a lion running on a treadmill?

And, How would you feel if I gave you a present and a lion jumped out of it?

And, How would you feel if a bear got into the car as you were driving down the road?

Confused?  Surprised? 

That’s not the right answer.  Even though it’s a question about your feelings the right answer is SCARED.

We can try again later and you can say the right answer.  Okay?

love you,



I giggled to myself and hit send on an email to my best friend.  I knew she would get it.  An inside joke about yoga and about the questions we have been fielding from our sons.  We had been on the phone recently while I negotiated with the Roc to go to bed and then answered a few of his theoretical questions (see email above) and she was laughing at both the similarities in our boys and in our lives.  So I giggled again imagining her reading it while I grabbed my mat and keys.  Then I jumped into the van, ratcheted up the volume and drove into town to go to a beginning yoga class.  A class I would always look at in the community ed booklet and then never sign up for.  Until now.

Something just for me.  A slice of time where I leave the house, alone, and focus on myself.  Focus on my body, my breath, my muscles and tendons, my strength, my insides…myself.  A time to be quiet and not think the thoughts that are always swirling.  As I drove I felt the weight behind my ribs, sitting low, taking up space and making it hard to breathe.  The weight that I thought would go away when school started the day before, but had in fact grown larger.

School.  The big transition from summer into school always has me on edge.  There are so many factors and so many things are out of my control.  I feel so strongly for the Roc.  I wish things were easier for him.  He has started to notice that he is different, that he struggles in ways that other children do not, and he has started to express that he has noticed.  His awareness is wonderful because of the potential and the progress it shows, but also heartbreaking.  For so many reasons school is very, very hard for my guy.  Sometimes it feels like the cards are stacked against him.

I sent him off on the first day feeling happy to be getting back to routine and structure…but also scared and worried about the year to come.  Will he find success in his relationships with his peers?  Will he feel good about himself?  Will he feel confident in his own body or always uncomfortable?  Will he act out as much as last year?  Will reading and math always be so hard?  Will he feel good about learning?  Is he in the right sped placement?  Will the regular ed teacher be a good fit for him?   Are his teachers pleased to have him?

And on and on.  I carry these thoughts and they announce themselves in the anxiety that flutters behind my ribs.  The anxiety that catches me off guard sometimes and causes my hands to shake, my heart to race, and my lungs to constrict.  There is so much to teach this child.  I am so often overwhelmed at the width of it all.

As I drove down the road, windows open, my off key voice trailing behind I noticed the weight, this balloon of anxiety.  I carried it as I entered the room, scanned the array of people on their mats until I saw a space on the edge of the group, and claimed it with my mat.  I sat still, my legs stretched out in front of me as I listened to a group of young moms come into the room, giggling and chatting.  I felt the worries and fears stretching and shifting as I went through the opening exercises.  I was conscious of the volume they were taking up, right there behind my ribs, rubbing elbows with my heart.  Too much space.  I filled my lungs, and imagined I was breathing out all that weight I carry, as I pushed the air from my nostrils.  I fought that weight through the whole hour long class.

Let go.  Let go.  Let go.

At the end, as I laid in corpse pose, I found myself still fighting.  My thoughts moved quickly behind my closed eyes when I knew they should be quiet.

Let go.  Let go.  Let go.

I focused on my toes, then my foot, my ankle, my knee, my hip, my stomach, my chest, my shoulder, and so on, all the way up to the top of my head.

Relax and release.

Let go. Let go.  Let go.

I didn’t realize the rest of the class had sat back up when I cracked open my eyes.

I sat up and filled my lungs, bowed my head, and slowly let all the air out of my chest.

Let go. Let go. Let go.

I realized that I felt lighter, some of the weight had evaporated.

I stepped out into the sunset, slid into the van, and turned my phone back on.  It pinged with a reply from my friend….


BWAA HA HA HA HA!  I can’t breathe.

And I found that I was finally breathing.


4 thoughts on “Yoga + an email

  1. We had our first day today and I was terrified — worse than in recent years. Son is at a new school and he’s getting older and more self-aware (more aware of his differences). Dropping him off a couple blocks from school — because he’s too old for us to escort him to the door — was one of the tougher things I’ve had to do. Hang in there.

  2. It’s a hard time of year. You describe it so perfectly. Glad the kids are back in school, but STRESSED that they are back in school. Stick with the yoga. Fingers crossed for good days…

  3. 🙂 I have a friend I write things like that too as well–she’s the one I message with posts I don’t put up for all my “friends” to see because she gets it 🙂

    My son started at a new school this year too–a charter school focused specifically on ASD and ADHD kids. Public school…well…that anxiety balloon I have been carrying around in my chest year after year after year trying to make things work finally got to be too much, and in my son’s new school, even with understandable adjustment challenges, I don’t worry so much. Who knows what the “best” choices are…but this one feels better than some. Even as my son is acutely aware of his differences…in his new school he’s not SO different from all the rest, and I think that helps him as well.

    Keep breathing and doing yoga and writing. I always love reading 🙂

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