Hi yogis and yoginis!
Today I want to talk about the different emotions I experience during or after my practise and how it’s not always pretty.
What’d you say!? Isn’t yoga supposed to relax and get rid of negative feelings? Sometimes yes, but then I have those days where I feel extreme anger especially during a Kundulini or Vinyasa practise. You see, I have come to realise that yoga doesn’t allow me to forget that I am human. A red blooded human with ego, greed, jealousy, loneliness, frustration, competitiveness and all those ugly feelings we wish we didn’t have. What yoga DOES do however is to force us to face and acknowledge those feelings so hopefully we can deal with them while away from our mat.
In Kundulini yoga we often practise a lot of vigorous breath work for long periods of time, especially while performing breath of fire, where we pull in a lot of air and fire into our bodies. This is a very masculine and aggressive element, so it’s not uncommon to feel very angry after. I’ve had moments where I’ve said to myself “I didn’t know I was so mad at this person, I want to punch them in the face”! Yes…yogis have those feelings too! The good news is this gives me the opportunity to face the situation without cowering away from it and hopefully coming up with a good solution. We keep so much bottled up inside of us for various reasons, perhaps we want to fit in, maybe we don’t want to face judgment or we want to keep up some sort of image we have of ourselves. The more we do this the more negative emotions we store in our cells or we get that mysterious stomach ache, tightness in our muscles, headaches, etc. It may sound cliché but our mind and our bodies are much more connected than we realize.
During my Yin practise I have had moments of frustration, sometimes as little as “oh…I wish I could be more comfortable in this pose”.
Other times I had a very cleansing cry after. Yin yoga is a series of poses – mostly hip openers – held for 3 to 5 minutes with very little talking. Therefore, it becomes a very introspective experience without any distractions. Hip openers are very connected to the second chakra which holds our emotional and creative side. I have found that this practise can help with issues of forgiveness for yourself and others. It also increases our creative potential and feminine sexuality.
With my Vinyasa practise I experience feeling of impatience, disappointment and jealousy. Jealousy towards yogis who are better than me. Yes, I know…this is very immature of me.
After all, it’s our competiveness which makes us push ourselves harder and do better. With that being said, I very much admire all these yogis and am grateful that I feel challenged by them.
I guess the moral of the story is; don’t be afraid of the human experience, it is what it is for a reason, with all its shit and glory. After all, you can’t appreciate the sweet without the bitter. Accept all your feelings, even the nasty ones and deal with them, face them head on and stop hiding. Allow yoga to help you with this and remember, it ok to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all!
I’d really love to hear about your own experiences. What emotions bubble up to the surface when you are doing yoga? Please tell me about them in the comment section below and don’t forget to leave a like, subscribe and share my blog. You can also check out my YouTube channel by clicking on the link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-FQOAyJIek3IJa01GWspOg