"Straighten you arms and push up into Cobra. Turn your neck to the left and look out over your shoulder." And that is when I get a lump in my throat and my breath hitches. My whole body is feeling intense pressures and stretches. My mind becomes flooded with thoughts, feelings, and really just "static". I am not sure what it is, but it makes me feel like I am about to explode. But all of this isn't in a bad way. Everything is coming to the surface, in my body and my mind. When I release back down to the floor, before switching and turning my neck to the right side, my eyes well up with that salty liquid we call tears and one slowly drips down my face. In that moment I feel a release, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Practicing yoga allows you to find that mind-body connection. It forces you to be present right then and there, on your mat, and to focus inward on what you are feeling at that very moment. The movements you flow, push, bend, and stretch your body through, awaken all those nerves and sensory feelings within your body. It increases your blood flow and energizes every corner (even your toes). But it also awakens every part of your brain. Don't think you are going to go into a yoga practice for a quick workout and one goal in mind, to just sweat. That is not going to happen. Your body is going to connect with your brain and make you feel things you may not have even known were there, lurking in those back corners of the mind.
This is when all those thoughts, feelings, and emotions come flooding up to the surface and seem to gather all together right in your center. That exact moment is when I feel just pressure and all the intense feeling ready to blow, but I can't pin point exactly one thought or feeling. This will usually happen in a pose that you hold and really allow your body to feel. And then when you release from that pose, your emotions release with it. The physical and emotional are connected spirits within you.
When you cry during yoga, it is just the physical representation of what is going on inside the body. The tears build up under all that pressure and then flow from your eyes as everything releases. It is cleansing. It is purifying. It is invigorating.
That is why it is okay to cry during yoga! It may not happen every practice, but I find it happens to me when I have had a pretty tough week or something significant happened. That is why yoga is so healing and restorative. It is not just a workout. It can act as a "therapy" session as well. The best part is that no one needs to know what those thoughts and feelings are inside you. You don't have to speak them out load to the world. But you can bring them out during your practice, through the asanas, and through that emotional release you are bound to feel.
Allowing yourself to go there and fully commit to your practice will only make you stronger. You will step off your mat feeling refreshed inside and out. You will feel confident with yourself and emit a glowing aura of love, strength, and power.
Yoga is for everyone. Yoga is not only a physical practice, but a lifestyle. You are fully committing and giving yourself permission to actually find your inner peace. Your inner light. No one is saying it will be easy. You may be scared of the feelings and emotions that come up, of the moments that you become vulnerable enough to cry, to release. But that is why yoga is a lifestyle. These things don't happen in a day or in one practice, they happen over time, when you commit and allow your practice to take you to the far reaches of you mind and soul. The places we don't always want to feel or see. But discovering these places leaves us with a purer sense of self. We can find love, confidence, compassion, strength, acceptance, and peace.
Now take a moment and decide if you want to embark on a journey that will require you to let go, to accept, to release. If you do, then you may what to come and step on to the mat. Bring all you stress, worries, insecurities, anger, happiness, sorrows, burdens, everything. Bring it all and then release it. Release it and feel what your body truly is. A beautiful creation, a powerhouse of love, an extraordinary work of art that should be loved and cared for. Release it and feel what is truly inside you mind, your thoughts. Those feelings are real, accept them, and acknowledge them. Break down those fears, accept the past, appreciate the wonders, and brush away the guilt, the shame. Forgive. Release.
So tell me:
Have you cried during yoga? Yes.
Are you willing to be vulnerable and truly commit to a life-long practice? Yes.