Devin Dearing Preston: NYC writer, playwright, and storyteller

Dearest Yoga Teacher,

August 5, 2011

Forgive me for my release in your class last night.

As you were speaking about all the emotion stored in the gut and around the heart, I felt the muscles that had been restricting mine for years slowly relaxing their death grip. Years of tightly held sorrow started streaming down my cheeks.

You were the only one who saw, I think. Don’t worry, it scared the shit out of me too. I felt compelled to write you and apologize because that’s what I have been programmed to do for my scary emotions. I’m sorry I’m sad. I’m sorry I couldn’t hide that truth any more. I’m sorry you were faced with it. I’m sorry I didn’t stay and talk to you about it, explain my tears.

I’m still very ashamed of them. There is still a huge part of me that believes I should be stronger than them. Plus, putting words to those feelings would open up the flood gates for real with an intensity that neither you nor I could manage in the five minutes you had between classes. Heaving sobs, shaking and rocking, most likely in the fetal position were a guarantee. I would be trapped in my worst fear, my sadness disrupting someone else’s life. It’s already disrupted my own enough.

But more, I want to thank you. I know you didn’t invent yoga. Nor did you create the poses that are designed to pull our muscles to a point of release. But you kindly guided us through that brief journey. One that allowed me to briefly put down my woe, if just for a moment, and cry. I want to express my sincere gratitude. I have been chasing that release in various unhealthy ways for years. Who knew all I had to do was practice yoga?

Funny, even my body knows that I miss my dad. Now, you do too. I don’t miss him any less today, but I am able to admit fearlessly to one more person that I feel his absence on a cellular level deep within my muscle tissues, bundled up in my connective tissue is my grief. Admitting this leaves me  feeling exposed and entirely too vulnerable for the mean streets of Manhattan. But I’m learning, slowly, that maybe my vulnerability is a strength.

I’m finishing this up, so I can practice yoga again today. I’m choosing to dive into the pain instead of flee. This is very new for me. Thank you again for being the instrument for this step in the right direction. I owe you!

Yours,

Devin

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Categories: Letters I Will Never Send

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