Post-yoga weirdness (2012)

R H, modified 2 Years ago at 4/11/21 8:13 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 4/11/21 8:13 AM

Post-yoga weirdness (2012)

Post: 1 Join Date: 4/11/21 Recent Posts
This is something that happened about 9 years ago, but I thought it would be interesting to post here and get y'alls opinion: 

A work colleague started inviting me to hot yoga classes at Life Time fitness in the fall of 2011, and we were going 3-4 times per month by February 2012. I had never done anything quite that intense re: yoga, breathwork, or any form of meditation, and I would get a real "high" after class, and any sort of exercise/breathwork high had been rare in my life up to that point and had me motivated to keep going. During a class right around Valentine's Day 2012, though, I could tell that something was off -- I was thinking about a recent breakup, couldn't focus on the breath very well (which I was never great at), wasn't feeling my body in the poses, etc. I was way in my head and felt more and more off and didn't get a "high" after class. As I drove home, I realized that I did NOT feel good, and in fact felt very dark and troubled. I had difficulties driving and had to pull over and to get my bearings -- what was happening? I didn't have an answer, and the best I could do was drive home very slowly. 

The next morning, I needed to go to work but I felt stuck to the bed. It took me a long time to get up -- it was like my limbs wouldn't work -- and once I did, it took me a long time to get dressed -- it felt like I didn't quite remember how clothes worked. I remember convincing myself to eat something and spitting it back out -- food didn't taste right, like it normally did -- whatever I tried tasted bad. By this point, it was 10 AM or so, and I was pretty sure work was out of the question, so I called in "sick" and spent the next few days at home panicking that I had tied my brain into a knot doing bro-y hot yoga at a 24-hour fitness franchise (which I find funny in retrospect). 

Eventually I came down (or out? or through?) and went back to work, but I vowed to not do yoga again until I understood what it could do to my mind, and signed up for a yoga teacher training that started Fall 2012. The YTT both was and was not helpful -- I'm sure most of y'all are familiar with the state of your average American yoga class -- we never really got into the mental states that are possible via yoga or breathwork or meditation -- but one of the women in my training had been to a Goenka retreat in India and said that she had "really crazy dreams" while she was there. I wanted to have really crazy dreams, so I signed up for a retreat in the US -- and while I did not have crazy dreams, it did give me 100 hours of cushion time and an invested interest in Buddhist history, medtiation, etc. 

I have not been a consistent or intensive meditator since then -- I'm afraid that I'd have another incapacitating experience (despite being on a definite 4-5 month "high" after the Goenka retreat). So -- what was that first weird yoga experience? Was it anything? Or just the yoga equivalent of a bad trip? I have had "mini" versions of that experience since, but nothing so intense or long-lasting. I mention the teacher training and Goenka retreat and to make it clear that the first experience really shook me -- I felt like I had to do something/learn more about it, but also I've been hesitant to go deeper because while I seem to be able to dissociate or trance out easily (too easily?), I don't want to blow up my life or go on a big spiritual trip. At the same time, meditation won't get off my back -- it continues to appear in my life and wave at me, though I mostly ignore the call, or step in a little bit and then step out again. 

Thanks in advance for your diagnosis ;)