I was on the cusp of a major life shift. My 15-year marriage was ending, and I was at the beginning of the transition, moving away from what I knew as my life to something unknown. I did not choose divorce; the choice was made for me. However, I knew my response would chart my path forward. I could respond with grace and optimism, or defeat and self-destruction. I chose grace.

Everything started on a Thursday morning in the fall of 2015. I received a phone call, out of the blue, with the shocking news. It felt as if I had been punched in the gut. I was floating in time, unsure what to do next. I called work and said I would not be in today. I took my son to school and came home and sat on the steps in my house while my mind flew in a thousand directions. What was my next move? I heard my inner voice say, Find a yoga class.

Learning to Breathe

Within a couple of hours, I was on my mat and in a safe space where I could let my emotions unfold. I remember moving through the poses slowly and taking long pauses to cry. I was not an experienced yogi, but I knew yoga was good for me. The first lesson in yoga is the breath, and I needed to learn how to breathe. It was the beginning of a long journey of healing and self-discovery.

The first year of my divorce, I was in survival mode. There were good days and not-so-good days, and they were unpredictable. Yoga became my go-to self-care tool. I always felt better after yoga class. It also taught me to listen to my body. What did I need in that moment when I was on my mat? Did I need to challenge myself or simply rest in child’s pose? I started to practice yoga more regularly. I looked for outdoor classes, pop-up yoga events, and online classes so I could practice at home. A habit was forming. A connection between my body and spirit formed. Yoga was more than a physical activity that kept my body in motion; it was a spiritual tool for self-discovery, and it sparked a light in my soul.

What started out as listening to my body grew into listening to my soul. I had to slow down long enough to hear the wisdom I was supposed to receive, and yoga invited me to slow down.

Yoga as a Tool for Self-Discovery

The practice of yoga is filled with ancient wisdom. As I worked each day to hold myself together, I was also learning about yoga and stumbled upon svadhyaya, which means self-study. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a well-known manuscript for those studying yoga, has a verse that says, “Study thyself, discover the Divine.” Through the practice of yoga throughout many years, I began to pay more attention to my thoughts, words, and how I behaved. I was becoming self-aware. What started out as listening to my body grew into listening to my soul.

I had to slow down long enough to hear the wisdom I was supposed to receive, and yoga invited me to slow down. I was committed to my healing. I went on a yoga retreat in Guatemala, took several solo road trips across the country, started to meditate at home, and built a relationship with myself that had not existed before. There was a divine light inside me, and yoga helped me make that connection.

Almost eight years have passed, and I am a new person. What started as a healing journey evolved into a spiritual one. Because I chose grace during a difficult time in my life, I was open to all the good that came my way. I am now the happiest I have ever been.

I am forever grateful that my inner voice pointed me to a yoga class on the day my life was falling apart. I did not know at the time, but my life had to fall apart so I could put it back together in a way that was sustainable for me. By honoring that voice, I now have a spiritual tool that I can employ with calm confidence whenever I need divine guidance, or when life punches me in the gut.

About the Author

Alicia Poole is the senior communications manager for Unity World Headquarters. She is the mother of two boys and is an integrative health coach specializing in balance for mind, body, and soul. Visit aliciapoole.com.

Alicia Poole


No Results