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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Yoga for Broken Hearts



My freshmen year of college was the hardest year of my life.  This is often the greatest year of a person's life, a celebration of freedom, but for me, it was the year of the broken heart and the all too abrupt introduction to life on my own.  I twice weekly visited the campus counselor to talk mostly about two things:  the ending relationship with my high school love and my inability to deal with the dormitory laundry room...seriously.  I panicked over the number of quarters I needed,  had conniptions when I lost my turn at a machine, and tantrums when someone took my clothes out of the dryer before they were done.  I was colossally spoiled, and I couldn't hack the whole independence thing.  At home, I didn't do my own laundry or even wash my own dishes, and suddenly I was faced with taking care of myself in less than civilized circumstances with a heart that was hurting more and more each day.  On top of everything, I lost the support of a close friend; we just couldn't tolerate each other any more...my sweet, sweet marijuana.  In high school, I could do anything high... have dinner with my parents, give a power point presentation, but by my freshman year in college, all this friend gave me was anxiety.

One afternoon, as I walked my sad, sober self through the quad, I saw a table with a poster board taped to the front of it that read Yoga Club with a couple of really nice looking girls behind it.  I was already vaguely interested in yoga at the time.  I'd taken a class with my sister in the city and another one at home in Tennessee with my mom.  I owned a copy of Yoga the Iyengar Way, and I had tried some of the poses from the book in my underwear when I was stoned.


I made every excuse not to go to Yoga Club.  I'm too busy.  I'm too stressed (I actually said that once).  I just ate.  I need to do my laundry...  When I finally had no more excuses, and I was ready to not be sad anymore, I went.  We met in a sprawling room with hard wood floors and natural light, and the class was taught by an adorable girl with short, curly brown hair.  I think she was from Russia, and I believe her name was Natalie, but I wish I knew for sure because she saved my life.  She played Krishna Das and Coldplay, and for a whole year, as soon as my body rested in savasana, I cried.  I cried for all the things I didn't understand, for everything I was leaving behind, and for the things that would never be the same.

Sometimes it feels like life gives us more than we can handle, but it might actually be giving us exactly what we need.

That summer, I went to India, took care of these babies, and practiced yoga everyday.



Om Shanti.

6 comments :

  1. I love this post - what an awesome story! I seriously need to try some yoga man - this is inspiring!

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    1. Thank you for reading Eva! I'm so happy it inspired you :)

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  2. Jessica, this brought tears to my eyes. I resonate so, so very much with your story. How powerful is the practice! Honored to know you and work with you! Om shanti to you dear.

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    1. Thank you for reading Chloe! and also for your kind words :) xoxo

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  3. Loved this! You truly have a gift in telling stories :) Very relatable, thanks for sharing!!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for commenting!

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