Yoga has a powerful way of checking you in with yourself entirely. It's not often in our culture that we just stop and listen to our own breath, it's a rare event for many of us to tune into what our complete being is communicating to us. All you need to do to be "doing yoga" is bringing awareness to your breath, just sitting and breathing with intention is yoga, and at times it's a lot harder to do that than a sweaty, vigorous practice. It is for this reason, this keying in with ourselves on the mat that sometimes intense emotions bubble up. It isn't out of the ordinary to find yourself in tears in certain pose. We spend so much time disconnected, outward looking and in a hurry; achieving, planning and accomplishing. While doing these things we are also storing up, in our beings deep feelings, intense emotions or memories - and since there is often no place for them in our society of locomotion, they remain stored. Until, you slow down, turn inward, and listen.
Recently, my friend sent me an email about her yoga practice, which is now a one year old. She described this emotional release quite nicely I felt,
"Yoga has been weird for me, in a good way. I can't tell you how many times I have cried during yoga. ESPECIALLY in pigeon. I have SO much stuff stored up in my hips and glutes, it's crazy. Of course my practice on the mat directly reflects my mental state... when I am unbalanced in life I totally tip over. But this last class yesterday was really weird... I went in feeling weak (physically and emotionally) and totally unfocused and unbalanced, and had one of the strongest practices I've ever done. I wish I'd had that headstand on video. It was GORGEOUS!! And steady! And effortless! I seriously could have stayed on my head for another 30 breaths without much effort. I felt totally transformed after that class. It was definitely what I needed yesterday."
I love how she describes crying during yoga and then her paragraph moves almost effortlessly to elation and the feeling of transformation. Yoga can be a catalyst for you to find respite in your own being if you allow it to be so.