Yoga: An Exercise in Emotions

April 2, 2016
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Women workout for different reasons, and one of those is to find peace and tranquility. This is something that is often achieved in a yoga class. Instructors explain that within the silent space of a yoga room, a person is able to focus on the internal works of the body. More often than not, a person is not able to tap into his or her emotions when doing day-to-day work.

When the Feelings Flow Out

According to studies, certain activities trigger parts of the central nervous system. You can be having a massage or stretching, and suddenly you experience an involuntary action, such as crying. They call it somato(body)-emotional release.

The explanation lies in the sensory nerves contained in the body’s myofascial tissue, or the muscles’ connective tissue. Scientists believe that this is actually a sensory organ where emotions are deposited.

Emotional Rollercoaster

If you think yoga poses will only make you cry, better be prepared for other feelings as well. You can call out all the characters of ‘Inside Out’ depending on your pose. You can experience joy, sadness, fear, anger, or disgust when doing the bridge and the cobra poses, which are back-bending positions that rouse the heart chakra.

You may feel empowered when you do the warriors 1 and 2 positions, while inversions will increase your heart flow and make you experience euphoria. A happy baby or a pigeon pose may release deep emotions since your hips hold a lot of tension.

Embrace the Tears

When feels come tumbling down, don’t be afraid of it. Open your eyes to the moment. It’s healing and powerful, and they are there for a reason—to provide you a mind and body balance. Do not think of the situation as awkward because no one in the studio will be judging you. It is your opportunity to let go and find out more about yourself. You will discover that your chest is lighter afterwards.

Move Like a Goddess

As you have learned, a sweat session doesn’t all have to be about fitting into tight jeans and burning calories. It is also about health as a state of mind, connecting to one’s body, and it should not be a tortuous process.

The moves below can be completed in 20 minutes. Follow the instructions on how to hold the poses, as well as recommended number of breaths or time before proceeding to the next movement.

  • Crossed legs. Settle into a comfortable Indian-style sitting position. For five minutes look into yourself and control your breath. Inhale and exhale smoothly, and each breath should be evenly spaced. Place your hands on your lap or on your rib cage to feel the shifting of your diaphragm.
  • Seated twist. Place your right hand on your left knee. Twist your torso to the left and rest your other hand on the floor behind you. Hold for five breaths before coming back to the center and repeating the process on the other side. Remember to stretch tall trough the top of your head.
  • Runner’s lunge. Stand in a lunge, with your left foot in front, knee bended. The right leg should be stretched back, with the heel resting on the wall behind you. Rest your hands (arms stretched) on both sides of the left foot while you are gazing down. Hold for three breaths.
  • High lunge. Put pressure on your front foot and rise. Raise your arms up, lift your torso, square your hips, and face forward. Hold for three breaths and repeat the runner’s lunge and high lunge poses with the right foot in front.
  • Figure-4 hip opener. Lie on your back, lift your legs and bend both of them to a 90-degree angle. With the left foot attached flat on the wall, place the side of the right foot on the left knee. Maintain the position for one minute and then switch legs.
  • Spinal twist. Lying on your back, pull your knees up to your chest and hug them for a second. Drop them both to the right side and face to the left. Return them to the center while inhaling. Exhale and twist to the other side. Finally, extend your legs and place your hands on the side (corpse pose). Hold for three full breaths.

Finding a good yoga studio should not be difficult. You can go to any branch of YogaWorks or check out their website. See if they have a branch near you and check out their class schedules.

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