Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Notes from a Yoga-Crier

Sometimes it’s a sad song during pigeon.  Sometimes it’s a heart-opening backbend.  Sometimes it’s the wringing-out action of series of twists.  And sometimes the teacher says just the right/wrong thing during the opening meditation, and there they are…tears.

Not everyone cries during yoga.  Some people cry almost every time they practice.  Neither is right or wrong.  Neither means that you are more advanced in your practice because you can a) hold it together or b) access your emotions.  Like so many other aspects of yoga, it is what it is for you on any given day. 

Many students have noticed that there’s a moment during which they can make a choice—to cry or not to cry.  To hold it in or to let it go.  And while it can feel a little odd to do something so personal in a public place, your mat is a sacred space on which you can do what you need to do and feel what you need to feel without considering/recourse to anyone else’s thoughts or judgments.  Chances are, other students don’t even notice what you’re doing because their attention is on what’s happening on their own mats.  And if it isn’t, it should be (I don’t like to invoke a “should” re: yoga, but this one stands).  The teacher might notice, and might offer you a facecloth, or might even place a hand on your shoulder as a way of showing support.  He or she knows about how the physical practice can interact with the emotional and energetic body, and will certainly offer you some compassion.  This is all to say that if you need to release some emotion, a yoga class is a perfectly valid place in which to do it.  It's your practice--cry if you want to.

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