Have you ever laughed and/or cried when practicing yoga?! Have you ever wondered why it is that you can feel SO much better after an asana practice? Just an hour...sometimes not even that length of time....and it seems as if the world seems rosier somehow? How DOES yoga work anyway? Is there any actual science involved? Is it imagined? Is it MAGICAL? !
The postures of yoga – as well as the breathing practices and of course, the meditation techniques act on many different levels. The obvious portal of entry is the body itself. The various positions that are assumed during a practice virtually squeeze and soak different areas – and organs – and in so doing, they move blood, lymph and life-giving energy along specific lines called nadis (small tubes). An uninterrupted flow of energy (prana)The nadis are part of a much bigger living system within the body called the Chakra System.
The human body IS, in fact, quite magical. It had been called a living storybook with each page documenting every living experience...physical, psychological or emotional.....pleasant and unpleasant. In the mind there are only two parts, the positive and the negative. The positive affects the whole body in a positive way whereas the negative affects the whole body but there is always a weaker part which will be affected more. With these continual negative patterns more stress will be put on that part which will cause increased weakness and disturbance. Trauma – unless somehow released – impacts the Chakra system in such a way as to block the flow of energy, much like a beaver dam impacts the flow of water in a river or lake.
New ground-breaking research on the nervous system is discovering the ways that trauma affects musculature and soft tissue and how yoga practices work to release emotional blocks and to rebalance and heal.
It is important to acknowledge the emotion and let it pass, rather than analysing. Just accept and let it go. Sometimes we may understand it and other times not. Acknowledge the feeling. Try not to suppress it and continue with the illusion; otherwise we will not learn from it and be able to move forward. But we should not stay with that emotion. Instead we should observe and say to ourselves, I feel angry, or I feel sad or even I feel emotional. From there the emotions will dissolve.
Many times it is easier to just block the emotions. To distract ourselves...to run or to hide...or to just push away. It is much healthier to allow ourselves permission to understand our emotions and their effect. The first step to overcoming them is to recognise the emotions. Over time, this will lead to acceptance, balance and harmonization. We should never feel embarrassed by these emotions; their release is a very positive thing.
Not everyone will have emotions coming up.... the majority of yogis have only positive emotions when practicing asanas, and this is normal. It does not mean that one is not progressing or dealing with the self. We all have different ways of dealing with the mind. One should just remember that yoga is the practice of balancing the body, mind and spirit to bring harmony, contentment and bliss.
With notes from Sannyasi Bhakti Ratna (Kate Woodworth)