I could imagine horrible outcomes OR I could breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. And that helped. It helped me get through the first few hours, it helped me get through a long flight. It helped me focus on what I could do, what I did know, what was possible. I accepted vulnerability and our wonderful community met me where I was. Friends and strangers-a patient, loving husband, my equally distraught sister- helped me shoulder some really difficult days, with small gestures like smiles or a glass of water and prayers, good wishes, helping me to change my flight (a very kind agent at Delta!). Each kindness appreciated, I tuned in, I marveled at the humanity of it all.
We spend a lot of time in class practicing for moments just like these. We flow and share breath (and some difficult poses) with friends and strangers all the time. We practice deep breaths, extending our exhale longer than our inhales (it works!) and mindfulness, staying present. We hold each other up and, sometimes unknowingly, give each other permission to take a moment and be down (yay! for child’s pose).
All the practice in the world won’t keep heartache or worry at bay. Yogis are human too. Our mats may fly out the window in the face of an emergency or in the midst of a crisis. But, all that time on the mat and our practice off of it, helps us build resilience, creates a muscle memory that checks in when we may mostly want to check out, helps us be vulnerable, helps us “be" when we cannot “do.”
Mami is going to be ok.