“Breathe,” said N, my yoga teacher, as I sat cross-legged on my yoga mat tonight. Ah, it felt so good to sit still and breathe again.

I looked at my Zen card that I had randomly selected for my practice this evening. It said Humility – “have the ability to empty out and then bring back in.”

That was exactly what I so wanted to do. I wanted to empty out all the sadness, fears, frustrations, and angry feelings, that were stirring in my body since a week ago.

I twisted left and right as I stretched my arms and legs and tried to free myself of the whirling emotions that were roiling throughout my body.

It was Sunday a week ago that I had stood at my mother-in-law’s grave site. How could it be that 15 months had passed since her passing?

And then four days later…just four days later…I was standing at my husband’s grave site, unveiling his memorial stone on what would have been his 58th birthday.How could it be that 18 months had passed since he left our family? How could it be that two years had passed since that tragic day when the blood let loose in his leg and changed his life and mine forever?

I had tried so hard to keep my emotions at bay, but last week everything re-surfaced and it felt like the big waves in the ocean had returned. Yes, the big waves were engulfing me again and I started swimming faster again to stay afloat.

“You are not doing your shoulder stand correctly,” said N, as she straightened out my body for our final practice.

“It’s all about the core,” said N, “The inversion is all about the strength in your core, it holds you up, not your legs.”

“I’m afraid,” I said to N as she pulled my legs up further so that I was almost doing a head stand. “I’m afraid I’m going to fall.”

“Don’t worry,” said N, “I’ve got you, I won’t let go…I won’t let you fall.”

I lengthened my legs to the ceiling and let all the emotions from the past week empty out of my body.

Strengthening my core is going to take a lot more time and forgiveness and I guess sometimes I’m going to have to let myself fall backwards, to move ahead. I don’t foresee doing shoulder stands on my own any time soon. It’s a yoga practice I really have to practice. In fact, I better go buy some more of my favorite lavender epsom salts. Looks like I might be needing a lot more baths to sooth my aching bones in the months to come.