In the dark humid room of my crowded candlelit hot yoga class, I wasn’t thinking about the things that have transpired in the past couple months; I wasn’t thinking about the crying shaking panic attack and flashbacks I would inevitably have in the shower a couple hours later and which would leave me on the floor gasping for air; I wasn’t even thinking about the somewhat aggravating girl struggling to find her balance who laid her mat too close to me. I wasn’t actually thinking at all. I was staring at a spot of flickering light reflecting from the candles on the hardwood floor just in front of my mat in crow pose, sweat puddling around the crooks of my elbows and running down my face, as if my whole body were sobbing out all the trauma held tightly inside of it.
In the car after class, I pulled out my phone and read from the Dhammapada:
“Make an island unto yourself! Strive hard and become wise! Rid of impurities and cleansed of stain, you shall not come again to birth and decay… Just as rust arising from iron eats away the base from which it arises, even so, their own deeds lead transgressors to states of woe… There is no fire like lust; there is no grip like hatred; there is no net like delusion; there is no river like craving.”