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. Despite being focused and full of stillness that actually creates a pretty intense experience.ding to the physical openings that you experience doing yoga is the meditative nature of the practice.Yoga flows are intended to get you in the moment in ways that we don’t always live our lives. In many types of workouts, there are plenty of distractions going on, plus the opportunity to use force to get through the moves. While running on a treadmill and listening to music or watching TV can be an escape from the daily grind and feel amazing, it’s not exactly the same type of mind-clearing activity. In yoga, there’s literally nowhere to run.
Even just sitting still for a few moments at the beginning or end of your practice can be a rare moment of quiet time. Those quiet moments are often when we start reflecting or stop with the distractive mind chatter and start to see our real feelings more clearly. That plus the physical releases going on make an emotional experience actually seem pretty likely.
Yoga poses that commonly lead to emotions are any that stretch out the hips, and any that turn the chest toward the sky. In fact, any yoga poses that are physically opening in nature have the potential to open up your emotions as well. Some people believe that we hold different types of issues in certain areas of the body, while others simply acknowledge that some poses seem to be more popular for emotional outpourings than others. Of course, sometimes those emotional outpourings are not tears. Rather laughter, bliss, or even anger can arise in the midst of your flow.
Do know that crying in yoga (or ever) is not necessarily a bad thing or even reflective of your emotional state at large. Aim to sink into those emotions in the same way that you would a yoga pose. Feel it without fearing it and then simply release it. Allow your body to release what it needs to without overly judging yourself in the process. When you get comfortable with that you will find that the body and mind start to feel more in tune with one another, which can offer a new sense of freedom in and out of the yoga studio. And certainly, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of your yoga tears…they’ve probably been there too.
If you feel like opening up heart, mind, or body and experiencing the emotional release yoga has to offer, drop in to one of our incredible studio classes at Spirit of Yoga. Better yet, learn how to facilitate this emotional exoneration for others by enrolling in our Yoga Teacher Training Program today!