Updated: Dec 9, 2019
It's not uncommon to experience moments of emotional release during yogasana (yoga movement practices.) Some do, but not all do.
This can come as a surprise during practice. I’ve begun sharing some insight into the possible energetic basis for these cathartic moments.
In general, it's understood that the moment-to-moment watchful attention we give to our sensations during yoga are the first step towards coming to terms with emotions we haven’t processed. Either we didn’t have the tools to deal with certain emotions in the past (think of a child), or maybe we simply had too many people needing us to be strong to allow ourselves to feel weak in a moment of grief.
Well, it’s thought that those unattended energetic patterns settle into distinct areas of our bodies. Over time, these spots start to feel tight, congested, and even painful. Dis-ease is the next step. The body’s really sending some clear messages. What’s it going to take before we finally look at the root cause?
Yoga is never about how you look in a posture. It is about reclaiming your moments of presence, remembering to feel this human experience, precious even when it’s painful. It’s about setting intentions and watching them unfold. It’s about noticing how we handle challenges, and then softening on each and every mindful exhale.
Forward bends put us in deep contact with ourselves, in a position known as primary curve, reminiscent of our comforting residency in the womb. They employ gravity instead of force to give the beneficial stretching, and they’re known to incite introspection. Nine years ago a forward bend put me face to face with a knot of pain. I hid the tears pretty well. This experience gave me a nascent curiosity to the depth of yoga as a healing practice for the whole person, not just the body.
So can yoga be just for physical fitness, yes of course! And if that is what you want now, we do that. This is your fair warning, though, that you may get more than you anticipated!