There are certain yoga poses that make you want to cry. Or sing. Or vomit. Or laugh. Even punch someone.
The yoga pose that always stirs it up for me is the first standing back bend of my day. When I come up from it, I’m high. Good feelings are literally flooding my body like a dam just broke. There is a smile, a giggle, excitement. Sometimes memories; funny, shocking or arousing flashes through my head. Those few seconds of sensation just following the backbend continue to surprise me every time.
I want to ask my body. How did you do that?
Throughout the next few poses, things are opening up. My grips and binds are becoming less strained. I’m gliding, floating, flying.
I’m upside down in a balancing posture. My body is without hesitation today, there will be no toppling over.
My breath feels like it’s moving my body for me. It sounds like it should be visible, tangible. I’m getting lost inside myself, and my heart rate is increasing.
Now I’ve really got a sweat going on, starting to feel a bit weak but not slowing down, getting stronger in fact. Time for a couple crazy postures I didn’t used to be able to do. Oh my gosh I’m killin’ it—don’t stop now!
Ok, time for the deepest backbend, this time kneeling. I don’t want to come out, I’m going to stay just like this, keep holding, breathing, holding, breathing…
I turn over and lie in savasana, putting all my awareness on my heart. It’s beating intensely, parts of me feel like they are pulsating. Holy crap, it feels like an orgasm.
I lie in complete stillness as savasana takes me to another realm; to complete calmness, oneness within myself, all the feelings of worry and pain have been released, the pleasure settles into my veins.
My eyes open. How long have I been laying here?
I ride my bike or drive my car home in my state of elation. Nothing can steal my peace.
Not every yoga class leads to these exact sensations of course. Some days it’s orgasmic feelings, but some days its sadness or frustration. I think of it as if the yoga is digging inside you, drawing out deep experiences and thoughts. The feelings drawn out and intensified during class are according to what you dug up that day.
There are logical reasons why yoga poses create intense emotions. Feelings manifest themselves into body parts. Poses that open up a certain body part (i.e. hips, back, chest) can expose or release that emotion. If a yoga pose can do that to you physically, imagine what it can do for you mentally and spiritually.
After having felt whatever came up in class, ideas on life and what I want out of it start becoming clear. Life seems to be going exactly as it should, at least in the right direction, and with so much to look forward to down the road. I know this because of what just happened on that yoga mat.
The answers are inside yourself, but you’ve got to bend over backward to find them.
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Assit Ed: Judith Andersson/Ed: Sara Crolick