My yoga instructor told us a story about her son recently. He didn't want to eat what they made for dinner and proceeded to have an enormous tantrum over it. He wasn't prone to tantrums and they were at a loss of what to do. Her husband sent their son to his room for time out, but once in there he kicked stuff, threw stuff, yelled and cried for a long while. She decided she was going in.
Once in his room she quietly sat down on her knees and watched him. She just sat there and said nothing. He stopped for a moment and asked her "Mommy, are you doing yoga?" But she still said nothing. He yelled a little more and walked around the room but grew tired of it and eventually sat down across from her for a staring contest. She whispered, "I need to talk to you and we're not going to talk any louder than this. Ok?" He nodded. She explained that she doesn't know what he needs when he is that angry and she really would like to know what can be done. She said that she couldn't give him mac and cheese so she needed to know what was going to calm him down and make it ok. He thought about it and said, "I want you to hold me."
"So you're telling me that when you get that mad you just want me to hold you?"
So she held him until he was ok to come back to the dinner table and eat a little. A couple days later he threw another, louder tantrum about something else. She felt spent and decided to send him back to his room for time out so she could compose herself for a minute. Shortly after this she heard him shout, "I WANT YOU TO HOLD ME!!!!!" And so she held him and it was over.
She made a sort of cheesy reference about how this is what yoga means and I smiled thinking about how cute her story was.
A couple days after this class I was walking down Michigan Avenue feeling overwhelmed and welling up. Instead of shouting I settled for whispering in my mind: I want someone to hold me.
She was right then. By going to yoga I give myself a time out, and I ask the universe to hold me.