Why Unexpected Emotions Can Sometimes 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. Some people can also feel a little shattered after a good yoga class.

But why is that?

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!

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. Of course you’re totally safe in your yoga retreat or studio, but if this were the dark ages it’d be a great opportunity for someone to attack!

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.

Again, 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 what do you do?

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. 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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Annie Au
Annie Au

Annie is an international yoga teacher, educator and writer. Specializes in yoga anatomy, she infuses anatomy knowledge in her yoga classes to help students practice more intelligently and avoid injuries. Annie has the ability to lead a dynamic class filled with inversions with a duality of restorative and healing sequences. She is grateful to learn from various genuine masterful teachers. Eternal gratitude and thanks to teachers: Dharma Mittra, Boonchu Tanti & Ganesh Mohan.Before yoga, she was a professional contemporary dancer and founder of Au Dance School in Vancouver. Her decade long dance career has taken her around the world including some fond memories touring in India, Egypt, Brazil and Germany. Annie teaches Dharma and Yin Yoga and is currently studying Tibetan Buddhism. Follow her on Website, Facebook and Instagram.

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