If you’ve ever found yourself suddenly moved to tears in yoga class, you’re not alone. The sensation can be a little alarming if you’re not used to crying at the gym, however, rest assured that it’s a sign of good things happening. Our bodies tend to hold onto a lot of tension that’s both physical and emotional at its root. Just like our shoulders can tighten up when we’re hunched over the keyboard day after day, our hips can tighten up from emotional stress as well. Certain yoga poses unleash the tension and suddenly make you feel something that you haven’t felt in a while.
When you’re holding a yoga pose you’re often attempting to balance as well as stay strong and support your own body weight. (Our egos fight pretty hard to avoid being the person who topples over onto their mat.) These moves are using a variety of muscles at once, require concentrated breath, and also physically stretch us in new ways.
Stress is a natural reaction as a response for our bodies to protect us from threats. The sympathetic and parasympathetic system work together to create the fight-or-flight reaction. Hormones are released to make your heart beat faster, blood vessels constrict, and digestion slows so your body can react quickly. When you’re in danger, your mind and body take over to do what it has to protect itself. Once you’re out of danger, your body goes back to its normal state. The longer stress lasts, the worse it can become for your mind and your body, and then it is considered chronic. Chronic stress can create disease and many other issues that can stop you from living the full life you deserve.
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