Emotions and Yoga

by Michal Retter

We’ve all had the experience of taking a yoga class and coming out of it feeling terrific and alive, peaceful, “connected,” loving, or just plain ole happy for a change. But what about the instances where we find that we feel really sad, challenged, tired or even exhausted?

First off, know that these feelings are natural and will pass, what you are going through can best be described as analogous to a detox (detoxification).

Just like fasting or embarking on a dietary/herbal plan to cleanse the body can sometimes produce uncomfortable physical symptoms for a while, as the body releases and eliminates unwanted waste and heavy metals.

Using Yoga to change from the inside out

Gradually we start feeling better. The discomfort, the pain, was really an indication that that process was working to rid our bodies of toxins as we intended. The different muscles groups in the body store certain memories. As we teach our muscles new patterns of movement, we stir up, uncover and ultimately release the past.

Yoga works to cleanse both your physical body and your mind – your mentality, your personality, commonly known as “the emotional body.” Some of us walk around feeling like “emotional wrecks” and just accepting this state as normal.

In Western societies this aspect of Self is rarely ever looked at or rather left to specialists to handle. However, each one of us is equipped and capable of managing, regulating and dealing with our emotions. Believe it or not, we can feel better! We can experience calmness and peace of mind.

Reconnecting with our true Self

Making this happen starts with taking care of business so to speak. It starts with a deep look at where we are at. Our typical day of rushing out the door to handle everything that needs our attention–the family, the company, the bills, the news, the stress–has to be balanced out with self-reflection.

When we practice Yoga, we stop. Indeed, we cause a gap in the chain of usual automatic actions and take the time to look at ourselves, patiently and honestly, we give our undivided attention to our self! This – the coming back home to yourself, this connection is like re-uniting with a most beloved and trusted friend. Your soul is hugging and embracing you tenderly as the first touch of Self Love. Perhaps it has really been a long time since we found that safe and supporting place within. The emotions that surface here can be overwhelming to us.

Using Yoga to witness

Through physical Yoga, breath work and meditation all of us go through internal conflicts. Remember that you are there to observe, you don’t have to get attached or try to solve them the way you would a regular errand. You are there to witness. By witnessing, already a silent force is working to resolve and bring solutions to you.

Moreover, when we engage ourselves through Yoga, we often times literally stretch our brains. Neurologically speaking, doing exercises that are not habitual, but rather different and strange causes our brain to reorganize. The new experiences need to be associated with previous knowledge by growing new connections. That is how we expand our mind to accept new concepts of thought that bring to us closer with our real self, the spiritual force we strive to unit with and become whole, one.

How blessed are we that we have the gift of Self-awareness.

Namaste, Michal

Click here to learn more about Michal Retter and see her teaching schedule.

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