How Yoga Opened Me Up…and Drained Me Out (re blog)

I was just browsing one of my fave wellness blogs – Mind Body Green – and stumbled across this blog. It rang pretty true with me. Things definitely came up during my training – tears in poses and feelings of fear and inadequacy. There were times I wanted to quit and fell out of love with Yoga as the initial honeymoon phase passed. I got frustrated that I couldn’t do certain things, I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to keep up with my meditation. It took a lot to feel ok with where I was, and in a way I’m still working through it.

Here it is in Rebecca’s words:


I am about to finish my first 200-hour yoga teacher training. I went into this intense process ON FIRE.

I was doing my homework days before it was due, going to really difficult classes during the week, eating a vegan diet, cutting down on the wine and Real Housewives marathon nights – all of it.

One thing my amazing teacher told our group early on was that “stuff will come up” during the training.

I kept waiting for it to come up.

It didn’t.

Just a few weeks into the program, one of the many great new friends I’d made told me she’d started crying during our practice, while we holding Warrior 2.

I thought…really? Why? (And…Warrior 2?)

Well, recently, only two weeks from the finish line, it all just slapped me in the face.

And boy did it smack me hard.

I had tears streaming down my cheeks in our first pose, savasana supported by blocks. (For non-yogis still reading this, I was lying on my back with a couple foam blocks underneath me.) The post is a major heart opener. Backbends are extremely confrontational and stuff can come up without even realizing it.

So I learned.

With all the heart openers and hip openers (another place we hold emotions) we’d been practicing week after week, I found myself lying on my mat, angry at my ex, angry at myself, angry at my friends, angry at my parents, angry at…life.

And the tears just came.

And they came again when I couldn’t get into a headstand and hang out there, which I can usually do with ease. It was all just totally fucked up.

It all came crashing down (literally – I fell out of headstand and got schooled by my teacher in a pose I’m proud to say I’m actually good at). So, I started crying, again, but tried my best to hide it underneath the veil of my sweat.

During our post-asana lecture, our teacher opened up about something she does called “shadow work.” I had never heard of it. She gets together with some other like-minded women, and they address their dark side. The crappy stuff. The real stuff. Life. The stuff some yogis don’t want to admit exists no matter what level you’re at in your practice. There is no light without darkness – and we all have a shadow.

To hear my yoga teacher admit she has anger, or “a shadow,” really, was so comforting, because it’s true we ALL have anger. To act as though because we are yogis it doesn’t exist in our lives is just plain stupid.

Yoga teacher training or not, we are human. Life throws you things that just plain suck.

I am DRAINED and angry and sad and proud and happy and THIS is partly why I decided to go through this yoga teacher training: to open myself up – even if it ended up being a sharp blow to my gut in order to make it happen.

Published December 6, 2012

About Rebecca Seed
Rebecca Seed is a lover of all things yoga and music. Growing up in New England as a competitive figure skater, Rebecca has had to learn to quiet the ego and calm the breath through her asana practice. A graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Rebecca is a television producer by day. Her career has taken her from the White House to the Cannes Film Festival with shoots in-between in Costa Rica, Hawaii, and New York. Rebecca loves music almost as much as she loves yoga, and finds herself at concert venues all over Los Angeles a dozen or more times a year. She’s lived in LA for ten years and is in the process of completing her 200 RYT training. You can find her on both Twitter and Instagram @SeedYoga.