I enjoy making people cry.
Okay – that’s a bit of a stretch. But apparently I’m really good at it. I am always honored when someone cries in my class and this week I have had 10 people cry. It is such a blessing to know that I have created a safe enough space that someone is willing to open up and completely let go.
I never know why people cry. Sometimes they tell me they recently lost someone, or experienced trauma but I still don’t understand why. Was it something I said? The passage I decided to read this week? The music? A pose? I try to break things down in my head, but in the end I am accepting and joyful.
The power of goodbye is such a gift. It is the power to let go of something we have been holding within us. Often times the things we hold aren’t things that are relevant in our lives anymore, or perhaps they are heavy burdens we carry that shouldn’t bring our shoulders down quite as much as it does. It is the idea of starting over again even if we believe we have started over again more times than we should have had to.
Crying isn’t just about sadness. It can include all 9 of our rasas, or emotions: love, joy, wonder, peace, anger, courage, sadness, fear and disgust. Anytime we cry we may be releasing one of these emotions. Crying during a love scene in a movie. Crying because we lost a loved one dear to our hearts, or watched your little brother graduate from high school. Crying in fear or in anger. There are all kinds of crying and forms of release.
The best part about crying is that we feel so good afterwards! The reason we feel much better is because we were able to shed some of the things that no longer serve us. Getting rid of fear, anxiety, anger, or loss. It is not to say that you will cry only once if you lose a loved one, but it is an amazing release of emotions, allowing yourself to truly feel EVERYTHING.
In America specifically we have a tendency to cut off our feelings. There are many people who may be reading this thinking that it is crazy to cry in a yoga class. How dare we show that many emotions or be that vulnerable? But it is the opposite. We now have no safe spaces in which to cry, and when you experience feeling it is a joy to let it go.
Yoga provides that safe space. That is one of the powers of yoga. We are in a studio room (or ocean beach, paddleboard, lawn, or living room :)) surrounded by people who are practicing the same thing we are: gratitude. If you allow yourself enough time to arrive on your mat, you are opening your heart and bowing to the gratitude within yourself. Believing that you are worth at least an hour or your time to unwind, relax and let go.
It is okay to feel those feelings. It is okay to cry. Please do. If you feel safe enough and surrounded by love, there is nothing stopping you. Whatever rasa is coming up for you, feel it, experience it and live it. The let it go and move on.
Such is the power of yoga. Enjoy each moment. Feel your feelings. Go through the darkness and trust that the light will come. Find peace, love and understanding within yourself!
Then get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,