Today I cried during yoga.
This is not an unusual occurrence for me.
After a strenuous 50 minute session of being totally in the moment, pushing muscles into movements I don’t usually find myself in normally, my fellow yogis and I lay on our mats for about five minutes, being completely still. Yogis call this Shavasana. It is also known as the corpse pose. It is a few moments in time when you completely come back to your body and give a silent shout out to how it has gotten you through – a bit of mindfulness and thankfulness, if you will.
It takes practice to do this, believe it or not.
When I first begin tried yoga, way back in high school, I would actually fall asleep during this timeout. Mindfulness was not I word I knew. I just knew laying down meant sleep. Later, when marriage, and kid, and life crashed in fully, I would be tense and frustrated and often get up and leave before Shavasana was over, secretly cursing that I didn’t have time to “lay around.”
Now, I cannot wait for these moments – the time in which I force myself to stay still and listen to me.
Sometimes, in these moments, I am just thankful I am still alive after working out so hard and just concentrate on getting my breath back. But, sometimes, like today, I get emotional and the tears fall. I don’t sob, I don’t ugly cry, I just notice this feeling of being overwhelmed, of a need to release. Thus, the tears streak down the side of my face as I lay there, not moving. I used to worry that people would see or that I was being ridiculous. I no longer think those things. I welcome the release – it means that throughout the week, I have just been holding together and that I have not gotten in tune with what is going on with me.
Shavasana gets me in tune. In that time, I can reflect on clients that have affected me and emotions I have taken on that are not mine to keep. I can reflect on how I feel about my family and how appreciative I am. I can thank myself for taking the time even though I almost didn’t. I can release and be ready to come back for more.
Often clients, in the throes of their own emotions, ask me how I do what I do. Most of the people in my personal life really don’t know what I do, so they don’t ask. If they do, I keep the details to myself. Sometimes, some days are harder than others. Clients bring their lives to me like an open gift and I carefully hold that gift as best I can. Yoga and yes, crying, helps me lay that gift down and let it float on the wind. It also helps me pick up other gifts the world is offering me that I tend to not notice without intent.
When I cry during yoga, I often think of those clients who apologize for crying in session, or refuse to cry, or want to cry but something holds them back. I tell them that tears wash the soul. That tears – or any uncomfortable emotions – are worthy of one’s time. They are gifts that the body is giving. Go ahead and open them.
So, today I cried in yoga. My soul has been cleaned.