Posted by: Mary | March 9, 2010

When life throws you curve balls, Urdhva Dhanurasana

I was having a pretty good day today. It started off kind of slow but I started this blog, did some job searching and applied for a few jobs. Seemed to be going well. Then I took the time to read my most recent unemployment notice.

I’ve been out of work a year now and I have a new claim going through. Don’t ask me to explain it, it’s too damn confusing. Well, I read it quick the other day and what I didn’t see was the part telling me that I really shouldn’t get anymore unemployment because I haven’t earned enough money during this period. Now, I’m not the brightest bulb, but the reason I need unemployment is because I can’t find a job. Not because I have one. Government bureaucracy is just ridiculous.

I read this notice right before I was supposed to leave to go to yoga. I get to class early and open the studio for my teacher, also a great friend, to help her out and in return she is helping me out with classes. Without yoga through this unemployment I’m certain I’d be in a much different place.

Today was a great example of why yoga is so important when dealing with crisis and anxiety. I had a very hard time on my mat trying to keep my mind from wandering to: what is going to happen to me? How will I manage? Where do I apply next? Will I get the job I interviewed for?

Practicing and balancing when I’m feeling this way can be difficult. The entire class I kept trying to bring myself back to my mat, to leave behind those things I could do nothing about.

It’s ironic that during class my teacher Adrienne was talking about our flow. There were a few new students and often – like I did when I started – they freak out because the flow gets fast and they don’t know how to cope with the pace, the heat and the inability to breathe. They want to keep up, but can’t.

“Life throws you curve balls,” she said. “How are you going to respond?” She explained you have to learn to adjust and cope with what is. It’s hard enough to figure out how to cope in class, she said. But, what are you going to do when you leave the studio?  And, this couldn’t have been a more profound sentiment for my day. (It’s funny how she often nails my day right on the head with her yogic wisdom)

When in the midst of the craziness sometimes all I can do is breathe. Other times the panic hits me and I freak out. But, now I try to catch myself and remember I can only take things one moment at a time, one day at a time. Anything can happen and it doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, what happens might end up being very good. I have the choice to be happy and to take my mind in either direction: positive or negative. So, why not think that things will work out; it’s the better option.

And so, when life throws me a curve ball, I do some yoga. I figure I’ll take that curve ball and do a backbend (urdhva dhanurasana). And, that’s what I did today. (Let me say I am finally able to get into backbend, though it’s still not easy) I pushed through the doubt, the worry and fear; I pushed through the panic of the day and tried to leave it all behind. I tried to rid my mind of any thought except that of: be here now. I wasn’t able to stop my mind from going over and over what might happen, but if I found some silence and some solace only for a moment, I was successful.

My spirit is strong, my will is stronger. I know this too shall pass. I am reminded of a quote I really like from Rumi: “But listen to me: for one moment, quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. God.”



  1. Nice.

  2. Thanks Jen!

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