Breakups are hard. There’s no magic cure or fast-fix, and sometimes moving past one just takes time.
But while you may have an urge to stay in bed, binge on junk food and watch lots of trashy reality shows on Netflix (been there, done that), consider taking your broken (or angry, bitter …maybe even relieved) heart to the mat.
If you’re down in the dumps, can you imagine dragging yourself out of bed and throwing yourself into a cardio dance class? Me neither. (Though I have dragged myself to a kickboxing class after a breakup. It may sound very un-yogi of me, but I just really needed to punch something. Air seemed like the best option for everyone involved).
The wonderful thing about many yoga classes is that the sequences usually begin with a warm-up that allow you to focus in on your body, establish your presence in your practice, and gain momentum as you move through the class.
Starting slow and then allowing yourself to gain energy is a great way to approach not only your yoga practice, but also to ease back into your day-to-day routine and other activities that are important for taking care of yourself.
2) Appreciate Your Alone Time
One of my favorite things about yoga is how personal it is. While some of my other favorite physical activities such as Zumba are tons of fun to do with friends, I have learned to enjoy attending yoga classes solo.
Learning to appreciate the time that you set aside for yourself for your yoga practice can crossover into other areas of your life, and you may find yourself more comfortable going places and participating in activities by yourself. In fact, you may even come to enjoy it or prefer it!
When I was in high school, I never would have had the nerve to go to a new class or interesting new place without a friend or two by my side. Yoga has taught me to appreciate my independence and to enjoy the time that I am able to set aside to grow and explore on my own.
3) Recognize Your Strengths
Sometimes when we are in relationships, we begin to think about ourselves as we relate to our significant other. You have seen your strengths as a good listener, or a good provider…for your significant other. But now is a good time to remember the ways you are good for you.
As you revive yourself after a breakup, yoga is a wonderful way to rediscover your personal strengths, both inner strength and physical strength. Use yoga to learn how to maintain power over your mind – your thoughts and how you react to them.
Learn to direct your focus to the positive things in your life and how to pull yourself away from the negative. But also remember to be proud of the strength of your own body. Maybe you’re able to use this situation to push your body farther than you’ve been able to push it in the past. Maybe you are able to achieve new personal fitness goals.
Either way, yoga is a wonderful way to remember what makes you a force of nature. You have more strength than you think you do right now, you just need to find it again.
Yoga is a challenge, a workout, and a journey. But it’s also a good time and practicing yoga places you in a community full of wonderful people. Use your practice to explore what you’re capable of, and if you happen to struggle a little bit, don’t be afraid to smile and laugh.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to those in your class to exchange a joke or a hug. As with all things, time and a little bit of laughter a wonderful cures; don’t ever underestimate the power of allowing yourself to embrace positivity even in the face of struggle.
As Mother Teresa so eloquently put, “Peace begins with a smile.” So, go ahead and get started.