Child’s pose breakdown

Yoga. I’m driving to yoga. I have to keep reminding myself where I’m going. I’m not better, maybe I’m worse. I don’t know. Bea wanted me to go to yoga today, she thought it would help. I’m going, but I’m feeling so exposed, driving there, this was a bad idea.

I arrive “late” by my standards, so I’m stressed, and rushed. I’m also dissociated, disconnected from my body, and not ready to be here at all.

Kris meets me as I walk in, right on time. I feel like crying.

“Hello, how are you?” She asks me.

I follow her back to the studio, leaving my shoes outside the door. “I’m fine, I’m okay.” I’m lying, and she knows it, but she says nothing.

I set my things down, and we sit on our mats. “Is there anything going on that you would like to share?” She asks me.

I shake me head no. And then, I tell her, “I’m not really okay.”

“Yes, I can see that. Is there anything that is available for you to share?” She drinks her tea, sits and stretches.

I’m frustrated. I don’t know what to say. How do I explain any of this? “I should have asked Bea to call you.”

Understanding that this is big crosses her face. “Ohhhh. Okay.” We sit for a minute as she digests this, maybe comes up with a new plan for the day. “I think we will start today with standing, if that is available for you. Would that be okay?”

I nod, and we start by rocking on our feet, standing. She talks about feeling grounded in our feet. I’m feeling a little more present, a little calmer.

We move through some poses, and I’m okay. Stiff, awkward, not feeling as present as I have been, not feeling my body as I have been, but I’m here and I’m moving.

Then….Kris moves from one pose to what is usually known as child’s pose. I should feel more comfortable like that. It’s balled up, curled up, on the floor, more hiding that anything we have done. But I freeze. I don’t know what else happens, what Kris sees on my face, or in my body, but she knows instantly that this isn’t happening.

“Okay, let’s move back, sit up this way. Can you do that? And pay attention to our breathing,” she switches gears quickly, but it’s too late, I’m frozen, I sit back, but it’s zombie like, not really moving, more falling.

I think she is surprised that something so benign triggered me. I think she is annoyed I bothered to show up today. I think she must hate me, want me out of her yoga room. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” My tiny voice is barely able to be heard over the heater in the room.

“There’s no sorry. You don’t need to be sorry.” Kris is sitting on her mat, waiting, looking serene. But I wasting her time. I suck. She has to be annoyed. “Do you want to continue, or pause and pick this up at another session? We can end here, you are in control, it’s your choice. You are the boss, you decide if when we stop or continue, or if you need a break. You are in control right now.”

I breathe….

“I think I need a minute,” I say.

“Of course.”

I want my tea. It’s not close enough to me, and I’m still frozen, so getting it is out of the question.

“I want to stay,” I say. I can’t look at her, I’m sure she is annoyed, thinks I’m insane.

“Okay, good.” Kris says, and we start again, she omits the child’s pose this time around.

I finish out the session, but it’s awkward, hard. I spend the rest of the time feeling like I need to hide, plus feeling increasingly sure that Kris thinks I’m crazy.

After, we wish each other Happy Thanksgiving, and I leave, just as dissociated as I was when I arrived, and more than a little sure I have to quit yoga. Bea is going to be so pissed at me.

4 thoughts on “Child’s pose breakdown

  1. I just saw this post. Sending hugs. I think we spend too much time apologizing for things we don’t need to apologize for. Too much time worrying about what others think. I hardly think Kris wishes you didn’t come! Just like I hardly think my therapist was upset that she had to sit with me through my panic. I think certain people have a gift to be present with us through our fear. These frozen moments may be the healing we have been looking for. I hadn’t thought about that until just recently. But in all my years and years I have never worked through my fear with anyone…I am thinking it is a big deal. I love that the person along side me isn’t fearful of my trauma reactions. You had huge aha moments in therapy this week…big disclosures. Your reaction in yoga makes sense given that info.
    I haven’t told my yoga instructor anything. I might have last week because I was so out of it. I’m not sure the words matter in yoga. It’s kind of nice to just listen and be. My therapist said that just by my calling it beautiful means that I am present…that makes me smile. I hope she’s right. I love the pose that triggered you and feel really safe in it. In fact I have been closing my door at work and curling up on the floor to help calm myself.


    • “The person alongside me isn’t fearful of my trauma reactions.” This. This is REAL AND TRUE. Bea is not scared, and Kris wasn’t, either. I think you are right, they have a gift to be present and witness the fear and upset, the frozen responses. Maybe I just need to accept that they are okay, and stop being sorry. I think you are right, working through the frozen moments may be part of this healing. It’s something BIG anyway.

      It’s funny….I sit on Bea’s couch, curled in a ball, arms around my knees, as small as I can be. I curl as small as I can in my closet at home to hide. I curl as small as I can in bed at home, on my couch, in the car if Hubby is driving, I spend my life lately curled up in some form of that pose. Yet, when Kris went into it and I attempted to follow, I couldn’t. I don’t know. It was triggering, I froze. I have not even been able to discuss this with Bea. I’m not sure being curled up is calming for me….it’s more like I’m trying to feel safe by hiding, if that makes sense. I don’t know.


      • Poor me being safe is calming whether appropriate or not. And yes, I think there is healing within this or at least learning how we react to our fear and that we no longer need to be alone with these feelings. I’ve been using a blanket at home to wrap myself up in. I sleep in a fetal position and always have to be touching my hubby. My therapist consistently points out how I’m sitting and I get so self conscious that it makes me worse.


      • Oh yeah…..I always have my “blankey.” Lol. When I was a kid and now I have my favorite blanket that reminds me of my childhood blankey. I even have taken it with me to curl up for long car rides. I’m such a child sometimes.

        I would be self conscious if Bea pointed lit how I was sitting all the time. 😦


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