It’s something we don’t talk about too often in a yoga class, but it can definitely happen. You’re going along doing your breathing and following the flow just fine and then all of the sudden it hits you. That memory of that thing growing up. That person you miss. The pet you lost years ago. That person that said that awful thing to you that you’re still angry about. Or maybe you don’t even know why, but the tears just start to come.
Has this ever happened to you? It’s happened to me plenty. I often tell the story about how several years ago now, I had to put my beloved cat down very suddenly. I was absolutely devastated. I didn’t go to yoga for two solid weeks afterward because I knew what would happen. The first class back on the mat, my teacher put the class into pigeon and I totally lost it. My teacher knew it was coming and gave me a reassuring rub on the back. And I let it come, because it was safe to do so. My teacher created a space where whatever came up was acknowledged and allowed to flow.
I hope I do that for my students. What happened to me that day was a perfectly normal part of the yoga practice. When we move the physical body, now and then, we release not only physical tension, but emotional tension too.
I had it happen again recently. I was in a workshop about backbends and on the 5th or 6th press up into wheel the tears started. Now this was a workshop in a different studio with a bunch of other yoga teachers that I didn’t know and a “famous” clinician. And even though I knew it was fine and normal, I felt silly and I held it back a bit. I tried real hard to make it look like I was just too tired to do another wheel. I’m not sure anyone even noticed. But I sure felt it. Later when I was back in my car on my own the tears came back and I let them go this time. I felt a lot better afterward.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that it’s normal. And I want you to know that it’s good. And I want you to know that if this happen to you at Forever Yoga, if you feel comfortable, you can ride the wave to its conclusion without fear. You’re safe with us.
There are some theories out there that when we’re unable to process our emotions they get stuck in our bodies and cause physical pain or illness. That may or may not be true. But what is true, I think, is that being human is a messy business. And grief doesn’t go in a straight line. So when our practice gives us an opportunity to let something go on the mat it’s a gift. Don’t be afraid to unwrap it. We’re here for you.