Healing Through Vinyasa

Recovering from a break-up and feeling lost, yoga—which had always made her feel alive and free—was the answer for one “single” girl.


PHOTO: Samatone Yoga.

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The Break Up

Last summer I needed something to help me become me again. I had just ended a relationship with the guy who was everything I wanted, and I felt empty. I walked into the studio sad and lonely, and mad at myself for being sad and lonely. It was a broken relationship, but I felt responsible…

“When did it break?” “Why did he break it?” “Was I the reason it broke?”

I came to realize that getting over the brokenness was the easy part; healing myself was much harder. Doing yoga during that time was the only thing I had to get me focused on what was important: looking inward.

Facing the Mat

It has been one year since that break-up. Circumstances have changed but I am the same person. No matter what new challenges present themselves, I find healing in the same way: by coming back to yoga.

As I watch people straggle into my old studio I realize that I am not the only one who has changed. Life brings waves of new challenges that we must ebb and flow through. The cat lady, usually upbeat, looks tired and tense. The blonde punk girl is happy and boosting about the condo she bought and how the movers stole beer from her fridge. The cute pregnant lady who never forced herself into any conversation (but was everyone’s favorite) is now a very cute pregnant lady minding her own business (and was still everyone’s favorite). The insanely talented young guy in all his glory complains that Tim asked him to not practice in the front of the room, because he intimidates the rest of the students. The older father-figure/desperate bachelor was in full effect consoling the young punk girl, giving her tips on dealing with moving companies, while checking out the older woman in the corner who always intrigued him. The gang’s all there.

The doors open, and we enter.

I roll my mat out. Panic strikes from being out of practice for so long. Our instructor walks in with her smile that assures you she won’t torture you and a body that tells you otherwise. She puts on music, The xx.

You move through the room
Like breathing was easy
If someone believed me
They would be
As in love with you as I am

It clicks. Today I am a more productive employee, a devoted dog-owner, a gluten-free enthusiast, and an overall stronger version of who I was in back then. I still have the scars I endured, but I have healed.


Flowing Forward

Today I have a new boyfriend who is thoughtful, caring, and loyal. He played The xx as we were getting ready on New Year’s, and in that moment I remember thinking, could I fall in love again? Am I? Hearing the song during my first vinyasa makes me think those same positive thoughts from New Year’s Eve. I realize I am more than the shell of a girl that walked in last summer. Parts of me have healed, but here I am on my mat searching again—this time for a part of myself I have yet to discover… the next step in becoming who I am.

As I move through the vinyasa I find myself unsure, not trusting my ability and strength. I doubt myself, then take a breath and find myself in the pose. My mind is scared, but my body is open; my muscles remember. I may not be the yogi I used to be, but I am optimistic in getting back to that point. The instructor speaks her usual uplifting and life-changing phrases—“choose peace over drama”—I listen to her as I did last summer and make it through.

And with words unspoken
A silent devotion
I know you know what I mean
And the end is unknown
But I think I’m ready
As long as you’re with me

Time moved forward. I changed. The people around me changed. We made it through, and I know now that I can make it through anything.

Charlotte is the proud mother of a French bulldog and has a Masters of Science in Planning and Policy.

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