We have all been there before ( or at least I am putting my hand up ), we lay relaxed in our savasana, totally blissed out from our practice, tingling with prana from head to toe, listening to the lullaby playing softly in the background when suddenly, we find ourselves being overwhelmed by emotion. It is as though it has swelled up from deep within, somewhere sometimes very hidden from ourselves. Tears start to leak from our eyes.
"Oh no! How embarrassing! What will they think? I am sobbing like a baby!" we instantly say to ourselves. "Hide it. Pull your self together!! Keep calm and carry on" is the usual response.
Let me reassure you that having a teary moment at the end, middle or even the beginning of a class is very normal. In fact, I see it often! The thing is, tears are good for you, crying is a way of release. There have been many studies done on the awesomeness of tears from their antibacterial properties, to how they remove stress chemicals and toxins from the body, and how by having a good cry we feel much lighter, more clear and more calm after.
We all carry "stuff", whether it is conscious and on the surface - or wounds we hold much deeper in the subconscious, and all this "stuff" is stored in the body. The body and mind are not separate, we indeed have a bodymind. We are familiar with the connection between the body and mind as we blush when embarrassed or the heart races when we are scared, so what about the other emotions? Sometimes, they can get held, locked and even blocked in the bodymind. Our emotions are held in the cells, in the tissues and the muscles of our physical body. So, when we come to yoga and stretch our muscles/soft tissues, focus on releasing held tension and begin looking inward, we can begin to shifts things around. Then, once things are all stirred up, we tend lay in savasana where we focus on emptying into stillness. So where is this storm of stirred up "stuff" going to go? It gets released. Sometimes it leaves us feeling all euphoric and blissful, sometimes it leaves us feeling angry, irritated or sad.
My favourite quote is "better out then in", usually applied to wind, and yes - yoga makes you release that too! I apply the same quote to our tears, it will feel much better once we let them out, than it will if we hold them in.
Crying is a release. If tears are starting to flow during your yoga flow, embrace them as your body cleansing itself, getting rid of what no longer serves it - emotions and toxins. We are brought up (most of us) to feel ashamed to cry. Well I give you full permission to let it all out in my class, it does not make me uncomfortable and there is absolutely no need to appologise. Let those tears wash away whatever it is that needs to be expressed. I very gratefully hold this space.
I also very gratefully hold the space to let out your trapped wind, if you must. Please don't be embarrassed if it "slips out". I bet we have all held on to one at some point during our yoga lives. ;) Holding in your wind is no picnic. Especially if your doing bow pose! There is even a pose named the wind releasing pose! Obviously, I am not condoning it to happen often - if you find it is a problem, don't eat more than a light snack two hours before your practice and watch which foods trigger your symptoms. But if it does happen, "better out than in". :)
May your release leave you feeling lighter, more clear and calm.
Love, peace and practice! x