Have you ever found yourself weeping in yoga or having this uncontrollable need to cry?
I sure have, and as a yoga teacher, I know that many of my students have. As your practice grows from “struggling in every pose” to “yippee, my feet are in the right place!” to “cruising right along,” the activity of postures begins to shift more and more from an external focus to a deeper, inner experience of body and mind.
One day there you are in half-pigeon pose minding your own business, when out of nowhere a swell of tears fills your eyes (and here you thought you were just stretching your tight piriformis muscle).
As you slow down and sink just below the surface of your conscious mind—all of life’s emotions show up.
The body is calling, but your mind is just not sure how to answer. So, the tears almost arrive through the subconscious. Recognizing this is the beginnings of a powerful observation.
In this observation lies pure gold for your own awakening, so shiny that it can be the light on your treasure hunt for a deep understanding of the self. With this observation comes the ability to move toward your most essential self, truth and absolute reality.
As you come closer to the essential self in your body and mind, you have more access to inner power, creativity and happiness.
Often, we find ourselves having been gone so long from our essential self that the tears come up as a way to release the pain of the suffering we’ve created in our own lives. By releasing these feelings, we come into more ease and can free ourselves from the chains of our past and the constraints of our future. However, sustaining this feeling of newfound freedom can be a whole other battle.
During our yoga practice, we connect to source, spirit, truth, inner wisdom and more clarity. But then the class ends, and suddenly we step off the mat right back into well-worn patterns of behavior.
As you go back to nicely filling everyone else’s expectation of yourself, there is a disconnect between the self you are uncovering on the mat and the one you embody in your routine life. As this disconnect grows, feelings of discontent, dissatisfaction and feeling stuck are common. But there is a different way.
Instead, what if you challenged yourself to use these small gems of awakenings on the mat to transform your life from the mat out, taking a step further on the yogic path than staying on the edge of the forest?
Essentially walking a little deeper in toward truth. What new possibilities lie on the other side of your habits and limiting beliefs?
Changing long held beliefs and patterns is not simple, and doesn’t come from just making a mental note to change, or by doing a bunch of asana based yoga. It comes from moving away from emotional reactivity to emotional responsibility, where love replaces feelings of fear and integration of self can occur.
However, journeying into the forest alone does not always prove effective.
Part of my work as a health yoga life coach is to help others along this dynamic change process. I also work with a Health Yoga Life coach when I need a trustworthy, knowledgeable source to help hold me accountable to my growth. By connecting you to your most essential self, coaches help you find authentic choice and decision making power, leading you to a more empowered and fulfilled life.
So, the next time you find yourself bracing for the wave of emotional onslaught bravely go toward the gold.
Zara Bielkus along with her sisters Aida, Vyda, and Siga are committed to transforming their own lives and the lives of others through yoga and Health Yoga Life Coaching every day. The sisters own and operate the Health Yoga Life studio in Boston. However, they work with clients from all over the world who they coach, and train to become coaches, in their coaching methodology. Together they created the Emotional Responsibility Method to help people shift from reactivity to action. They believe that empowerment and happiness are an achievable aim for everyone they meet. Their offerings include Yoga Teacher Trainings (200 hour and 500 hour), Health Yoga Life Coach Trainings and Workshops/Retreats and Consulting. Learn more at healthyogalife.com and independentyogi.com
Editor: Sara McKeown