Yoga and Seasonal Stress
By Alexandra Goldwell • November 26th, 2008 • 4563 Views
As spiritual beings having a human experience, we sure have a huge range of emotions we are capable of experiencing and sometimes several show up at once. For example, when the holiday season is upon us, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year where emotions run high. It's a good time to begin to become more aware of your emotional experience in yoga practice and use the practice and breath to release tension and pent-up emotion.
So whether you've been practicing asanas for a while or you have just started, the best starting place is simply to know that yoga can bring a whole gamet of emotions to the forefront. You may notice yourself in Savasana choking back tears. Or maybe the teacher holds the class in warrior posture forever and you feel anger. Maybe you look at others in the room that seem to be balancing perfectly or are more flexible and you feel jealous. You could be in childs pose and feel relief or sadness or anxiety. Yikes! Why does this happen? What to do?
The body is full of suppressed thoughts and emotions. From an experience when you were 5 where you were told to “Be quiet!” when you were laughing, to repeated experiences of choking back tears for fear of being ‘weak', to learning from an early age that women or men do not express their anger and should ‘just be nice', all these experiences resulted in the holding of breath, and thus the retention of the emotion. It could also be that just yesterday you felt frustrated with your partner, didn't say anything, and today the repressed thought or feeling is showing itself in your practice.
You have been out shopping in the chaotic traffic and bustle of the holidays and can't find a parking spot. The gifts you planned on getting are out of stock. You've got to get cards done, gifts mailed, go to the kids Christmas concerts and a number of dinner parties. Life gets overwhelming, tension builds, and you'd love to just scream. You keep it inside because it's supposed to be a ‘happy' time. These are just a few of hundreds of possible situations that influence what emotions and thought forms are suppressed in your body.