‘You’re going to hit what’s stored in there. Let it come up and be cleansed out of your cell tissue. It’s a gift of the yoga.'” – Ana Forrest
Yesterday during my last assist for my yoga certification, yoga instructor Barb Ruzansky told the class: “We’ve done a lot of hip openers tonight. So if you notice that you become emotional for no reason, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything’s wrong. It just means that things are moving.” Some of the novice students nodded their heads skeptically. Others looked around the room at one another. Their faces expressed a sense of bewilderment, as if to say: ‘Are you telling me I’m going to have an outburst when I get home? Will I break down at work tomorrow for no apparent reason?!’
I often teach my students what Barb taught me: that occasionally our emotions can become trapped inside our bodies. For me, the emotions that I release during intense hip openers (like pigeon or frog pose) is anger. Pure, dormant anger that feels like it’s been stored in my hips for 33 years. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, think about the last time you cried. Don’t you often feel much better after a good, long cry? That’s due to the fact that your body is releasing. The tears, the shaking (and whatever else you do when you emote) take the stress, anxiety, sorrow straight up and out of the body. Think of it like ripping out an internal BandAid that’s been used to cover up something inside of you for far too many years. The process is painful… but once it’s gone, you realize you don’t need to cover it up anymore because your “wounds” are healed. And what’s left behind is more free, unburdened space inside of you.
It’s no coincidence that the word emotion consists of the word motion. So if you want to feel better (happier, more energized, more clear-headed), then get moving. And if you’re not sure where to start, let the words of lululemon be your guiding mantra: YOGA. LOVE. RUN. PEACE.