When Emotions Unexpectedly Come Up in a Yoga Class

It’s interesting looking around at the end of a good yoga class. Some people might be brimming with energy, some will break out in a case of the chats, while others may be feeling quiet and introspective. Yoga often releases unexpected emotions. And there are specific yoga poses that open us up emotionally.

How does Yoga release emotions?

When a person’s chakras are misaligned, shifting them back into place can sometimes cause nausea, heart palpitations, and even tears!

There could be several reasons why a yoga class would stir up feelings that almost seem to arrive out of the blue. If you find yourself getting emotional during or after class, try to observe the feelings that come without judgement.

Chances are that there were some pent up feelings that needed to be released, and being hard on yourself will only negate the positive energy flow your practice has created – although this positivity may be hard to recognise at the time!

Practice Acceptance

Simply let the feelings come and wash over you, and try to be present in your practice on the mat, rather than dwell on them. Everybody is different, but some of the following factors could be the cause for your baffling emotional state during or after an intense yoga session.

Backbending poses

One reason why you might be feeling a little tender after yoga class is you may have practiced a lot of backbends in that particular session. Arching over into camel pose works strongly into the sacrum and lower back. These regions are usually accustomed to being still, and are also areas where we store a great deal of our emotional energy.

So if deep activity goes on, these areas will have an intense emotional reaction to let you know that something is happening… It’s basically your body’s reaction to emotions which may have been lying dormant under the surface, and signifies your yoga class went deep into your body and spirits core.

Front opening poses

Opening up the chest ultimately lets us feel fluffy and light, but it can still be scary getting into front opening poses – especially if your chest has been sunken for years! For one thing, exposing your chest puts you in a very vulnerable position.

Letting the front of the body be open can also release a new wave of energy to the heart chakra. If your heart was feeling a little lost and not quite itself, it may leap for joy when you get some movement happening in that area.

Unblocking heart chakras can lead to a great feeling of spaced out joy. Strong shoulder opening poses can also lead to your heart chakra getting a fresh flow of energy.

Yoga Heart Opening pose

Camel Pose is a classic asana that tends to lead to emotional upheaval on the mat. A huge heart opener, backbend and front opening pose, many yogis enjoy using camel pose to release energy blocks and reconnect their emotions with their spiritual self.

So how to react?

What should you do if you find yourself crying unexpectedly after class, or if you’re not sure how to handle that new, upbeat zing in your step?

Treat it the same thing as if you were to feel an odd pinch in your shoulder while in an asana. The first step is to simply sit back and observe your experience. As long as you’re practicing the pose safely, it’s fine to let the change happen to you.

Acceptance of Emotional release

Sensing emotions that feel out of place happens for a reason. If you’re noticing big changes in your emotional state, it means the poses are working to change your body. Take the time to try and reconnect with your body, as it may be trying to tell you something!

Don’t be afraid of any of the changes you might experience during and after a good yoga session. Sometimes your body rebels when you bring it back into line, and big physical changes can also take an emotional toll on you as the way you view yourself changes.

Yoga is about evolving both on and off the mat, and sometimes certain things need to be let go in order to make room for the new.

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Kelly Fielding

Kelly is a passionate writer, enthusiastic yogi and professional sunrise chaser. Kelly has traveled and worked extensively around the world in health resorts, detox centers, and wellness retreats. Specialising in health and wellness, her written work is regularly published in both print and online media. A gypsy heart and lover of nature, Kelly finds inspiration in the world around her and translates her visions into whimsical stories and creative projects.