Releasing Emotions Through Yoga

I have read and heard so many times that yoga is not just a physical journey, but also an emotional one. Yoga is a practice that recognises the interconnecting relationship, as well as, the inseparability of the body, mind and emotions.

Chinese doctors say our organs are linked to our emotions, and just the same, Indian Ayurvedic doctors believe there is an interconnection between our state of mind, breath and physical bodies. This suggests that our emotional experiences are imprinted into our bodies, which affects the body’s vital energy and balance.

So, where do the emotions reside? We carry emotional weight in our hips, back and chest. Frustration and anger manifests in spinal tension affecting the back, heartbreak and depression weigh in on the chest affecting the breath, and emotional pain can lies dormant in the hip flexors. And there are yoga poses that can help release those pent-up emotions.

Honestly, I’ve always chuffed at the thought that yoga makes people cry.

Come on. I can’t imagine anyone in a yoga class filled with strangers suddenly turning on the waterworks. But it does happen. I know that, because it happened to me.

Today was unlike any other yoga class day. First, I bolted into class late (to be precise, I was the last one to walk in). And I’m never late. Second, the class was full. I had to step over a bunch of occupied mats to get the last one available, with eighty eyeballs following my every step. Then, as I settled on my mat, I realised I had wore my baggy sweatshirt back to front. Urgh…this really bothered me.

Anyway, 90 minutes into the last yoga pose, we went into an varied corpse pose – that is, we lie on our backs with our legs in butterfly. Also known as Bakhakonasana, butterfly pose is known to be a very powerful hip opener.

For the next five minutes, I cleared my mind from thoughts, closed my eyes and held the pose with soft calming chime music in the background.

Almost instantly, I saw my mother-in-law in my mind.  Before she died last year, we were very close. And like a film roll reeling at full speed, images of her and us flashed through my mind. I sensed her energy and presence with me. Before I know it, a tear welled up…and rolled off the side of my face.

I felt her close. As class came to an end with a short chant, I bowed with my hands in prayer and whispered ‘I love you Elaine‘. When I opened my eyes, I felt wrapped in a blanket of emotional calm.

I knew she heard me.

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