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during my class I became emotional

saturdaysun2010-07-04 15:12:04 +0000 #1
I didn't like sob or howl, but during the meditational section I felt really ...

I'm not sure how to describe it except as emotional.. not greatly sad emotional or really happily emotional.

is that normal.?

does it happen to a lot of yoga practicioners.?
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 15:24:13 +0000 #2
I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more. Though it may also be "under reported"

There's nothing about yoga that's normal - obviously.

Though there's nothing to be alarmed about.

Just take it in stride. It is neither something to be touted (thus inflating the ego) nor is it something to be hidden.
David2010-07-04 15:33:58 +0000 #3
For me, a big part of the healing process is working with negative emotional charges trapped in my body. Not only is what you experienced normal, I consider it very healthy. My guess is that you have many more unintegrated emotions within you. As the time is right, continue to go deeper within yourself.

I teach a form of yoga that is so emotionally laced that I invite people at the start of class to let what needs to come out, come out. Whether that be crying, laughter, anger, or whatever. By allowing yourself to experience what is ready to surface instead of holding it back, you actually help those around you heal as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete



I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more. Though it may also be "under reported"

I'm not surprised. I feel that many teachers are uncomfortable with emotion and don't create a safe space for it.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 15:47:14 +0000 #4
Quote:

David wrote:

I'm not surprised. I feel that many teachers are uncomfortable with emotion and don't create a safe space for it.

I'll be thinking about this a bit. I'm unsure what it is based on...the feeling of other teacher's discomfort...but it is an interesting thought.
saturdaysun2010-07-04 15:39:43 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by David



My guess is that you have many more unintegrated emotions within you. As the time is right, continue to go deeper within yourself.

.

Its true, I've got a ton of repressed emotions.

In British culture men aren't really allowed much emotional expression beyond cheering for a football team, or being angry at things.
Mirjana2010-07-04 16:43:52 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by saturdaysun



Its true, I've got a ton of repressed emotions.

In British culture men aren't really allowed much emotional expression beyond cheering for a football team, or being angry at things.

Really? And I like a British humour so much !
saturdaysun2010-07-04 15:31:08 +0000 #7
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mirjana



Really? And I like a British humour so much !

Oh yes there's that too, laughing is good and we do like to laugh..
xela2010-07-04 15:54:32 +0000 #8
I think becoming emotional in class is great. That's something I've really embraced since moving to Boston. Yoga has become more than that cool workout everyone does! My teacher support me through what's going on as as I practice, things break down...especially on those hip class days!
David2010-07-04 17:25:34 +0000 #9
Quote:

Originally Posted by saturdaysun



In British culture men aren't really allowed much emotional expression beyond cheering for a football team, or being angry at things.

That is unfortunately true in many cultures. Goodness knows it is here in the USA. And yet, in order to grow emotionally, we have to let go of these repressed emotions and properly integrate them. Until then, we react unconsciously rather than respond with presence.

Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete



I'll be thinking about this a bit. I'm unsure what it is based on...the feeling of other teacher's discomfort...but it is an interesting thought.

During my yoga teacher training, our coverage of emotion was literally, "Sometimes people will get emotional in your class. Have them go into child's pose or leave the room".

Our society teaches us to deny emotion very early. "Tough it out." "Suck it up." "Boys don't cry". "You're being immature". "Don't get mad." "Stay centered." "I'll give you something to really cry about."

We're not taught how to express or be comfortable with emotion, only deny it. In the end, if you have a 2nd grade education in math, you're not going to be comfortable helping someone with their Geometry. I understand why most yoga teachers are uncomfortable with it, the problem is, there are few aspects more important to the practice of yoga than letting out what is trapped inside us.

"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

As I mentioned, one of the forms of yoga I teach is designed to release emotion. I plant the seed that it's ok to release what comes up and that doing so helps others around them heal. It's amazing to feel the energy of the room as the emotion builds and begins to surface. As soon as one person lets go and begins to laugh or cry, many people around the room explode. All they need is intention and safety. How do we elicit the emotion? Specific poses designed to bring about neurogenic tremors: Video From YouTube:(link)
. Neurogenic tremors help deep chronic tension in the body release. This deep chronic tension, due to the "what fires together, wires together" dogma of neuroscience, is usually trapped emotion.
siva2010-07-04 16:53:47 +0000 #10
Hi Folks,

I see overlapping issues being discussed here: revelation and emotional release due to the yoga, which is completely ok, natural and might even be expected on occasion, and sharing emotions or outbursts in class. I hope I am not being insensitive to some of you, but I don't believe they are both ok.

Yoga class is not group therapy. In a classroom situation, you have to try and contain yourself. If you can't, don't feel bad, but do get up and take a break. Leave the room and rejoin the class when you're ready. It's the responsible thing to do. Go into yourself, go find a hug, laugh it out, whatever. What others may need is not to go there with you.

Just my opinion.

Peace,

Siva
tommyd2010-07-04 16:31:52 +0000 #11
i practice at home and sometimes an overwhelming sense of knowing everything is going to be ok ~ can trigger the emotions : )

letting go of our fears and worries even if its just for the time we are practicing can be quite overwhelming in a good sense.

the real world and the problems of everyday life tend to wash away when i do yoga.

which can (not always) lead to these types of feelings. : )

great ?
Alix2010-07-04 16:23:28 +0000 #12
Siva, I like what you said very much. I agree that there seem to be two trains of discussion here. The release of emotion in a yoga class is very normal, and to be expected. Depending on the emotion released it may or may not be appropriate for the class. I would certainly be uncomfortable with someone who became very angry in a class expressing that emotion (and for the record I have seen that). It would be an entirely different scenario for someone to cry during savasana.

David, I agree that expression is important, but feel a level of control in a classroom is important, as I stated above. I think one of the things North American culture (and perhaps British culture as well) confuses is when to express an emotion and when to merely tolerate said emotion. In my work I am often counselling adolescents not to run from their emotions, but rather to sit with them and learn to tolerate them. To allow oneself to just "feel" and to do nothing else is a difficult thing.

That post felt rather fractured, I hope I made some sense.
David2010-07-04 20:40:58 +0000 #13
Siva and Alix, I must lovingly disagree

But that's what is beautiful about yoga! We find teachers and studios that fit what we need. In my experience, the release of emotion is so vitally important that a teacher should create the safe space for that to happen. People attend my classes because of that. If either of you are teachers and people prefer emotion NOT be expressed, then you will attract students based upon that variable, students who would want nothing to do with me

To those reading this thread, if you feel that emotion should be allowed to be fully expressed in a class, ask your teacher their opinion. If they say no, then find a new teacher. And of course vice versa.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alix



The release of emotion in a yoga class is very normal, and to be expected. Depending on the emotion released it may or may not be appropriate for the class. I would certainly be uncomfortable with someone who became very angry in a class expressing that emotion (and for the record I have seen that). It would be an entirely different scenario for someone to cry during savasana.

Why should one emotion be allowed and another not? That's social conditioning. We're more comfortable with crying than anger but in the end, each is the experience the person needs to be having, otherwise they would not be having it. I LOVE when someone cries. I LOVE when someone laughs uncontrolalbly. I LOVE when someone expresses rage. Interestingly enough, there is often a great wound underneath that rage if it is allowed to be fully expressed. It is amazing to see those lifelong wounds heal and the amazing transformation the student undergoes.

Quote:

Refusing to let go of the past can only force us into a neural feedback loop that causes the trauma to be replayed over and over in our minds in an endless loop of madness. Eventually, the neurological process of our brains will transform this excess neural energetic activity into ideations of hate, revenge, shame, suicide or depression. Once we enter this arena we can be forever trapped into the compulsion and vengeance of victimhood rather than the freedom and forgiveness of survivorhood. (Berceli, 2003)

In my opinion, if we are uncomfortable with something, that is us unconsciously reacting to something in our past. Part of my practice has been to ask why I feel a certain way. When the universe reveals the answers, they are often startling, destroy longheld belief systems, and have torn off the many masks I have worn.

What's really neat is all of this can be explained on a physiological level by science. Why do certain scents cause us to recall a memory? Because of the, "What fires together wires together" rule of neuroscience. If you smelled something during a traumatic or memorable event, that smell is wired in with the memory of the event. When you smell a similar smell later in life, that same neural network is accessed which causes the brain to say, "Oh my god the last time you smelled this X happened which was REALLY bad so feel anxiety just like last time and RUN!" Emotion and deep chronic muscle tension often wire together because your body naturally clenches during traumatic events and you experience a certain emotion during said event. When you access and begin to let go of that deep chronic tension then the emotion that was wired in also begins to release. That emotion may have been fear, grief, anger, or whatever. The thing is, if you stop that emotion from releasing, the deep chronic tension doesn't release either. Watch someone having a massive emotional release. They'll also be shaking in certain areas of their body. That is the deep chronic tension releasing. Stop the shaking and the emotional release will subside. Stop the emotional release and the shaking will subside. Either way, you don't let go of what your body desperately wants to let go of.

Quote:

Letting go is not for the purpose of forgetting or forgiving the past, it is about releasing the energy of the past to give us back our lives in the present which is necessary to deliver us into a new future. (Holloway, 2002).
Nichole2010-07-04 20:09:34 +0000 #14
Quote:

Originally Posted by saturdaysun



I didn't like sob or howl, but during the meditational section I felt really ...

I'm not sure how to describe it except as emotional.. not greatly sad emotional or really happily emotional.

is that normal.?

does it happen to a lot of yoga practicioners.?

It is very normal to have experiences of all types during and resulting from practice. Sometimes these feelings or thoughts seem to actually have very little to do with us or any experience that we can remember having ourselves. This can make it even more confusing if we over think or over value the situation. The 5 koshas that make up our yogic anatomy are not separate, but mingle with each other, so that asana changes our breath, changes the state of our minds and our emotions. Meditation too changes our breath, our thoughts and our bodies. Nadis can be purified and this can causes many types of sensations. To share something about myself with you, I work with the feeling of terror with regards to my right psoas. When I do asana practice, get massage or have practice with my teacher, and many other situations, I feel it come up. The quality of the feeling has changed quite a bit over the years. And with committed practice, it is no longer captivating, but something I can watch without much charge to it now. The emotion of terror is still there, but the experience of the terror is no longer felt. I can simple watch it now.

I think InnerAthlete gave you really excellent advice that I would like to echo: "Just take it in stride. It is neither something to be touted (thus inflating the ego) nor is it something to be hidden." When I am working with my clients, and with myself, and these experiences come up, I simple ask if it needs more action or if it done. Our monkey-mind tend to inflate and build stories around these experiences, this is a negative aspect of the ego, which only tends to keep you bound that which has come up to be released. Not every emotional experience or thought we have needs us to put energy into it, some just blow in and out of minds like clouds in the open sky, simple as that.
David2010-07-04 21:34:34 +0000 #15
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nichole



To share something about myself with you, I work with the feeling of terror with regards to my right psoas. When I do asana practice, get massage or have practice with my teacher, and many other situations, I feel it come up.

The psoas is the main muscle we target in the form of yoga I teach. You may want to read this article: www.traumaprevention...rticle&article_id=67 . If you would ever like to delve into what resides in your psoas, let me know, I may be able to help.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nichole



Not every emotional experience or thought we have needs us to put energy into it, some just blow in and out of minds like clouds in the open sky, simple as that.

I wish that was something I had taken to heart when I began this journey.



Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

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