Oh it was just your average Friday. Crying in yoga class for absolutely no apparent reason. NBD …
Towards the beginning of a yoga class I took last week, the instructor had us in rag doll. She spoke of letting the head hang heavy to release the neck and mentioned that if we tend to hold tension there, fully releasing can feel a bit unsafe.
I checked in with myself. The back of my neck felt really tight, as if it were under a heavy pressure. The thought of relaxing the muscles did feel a little (physically) unsafe. I took a deep breath in anyway and on the exhale fully released the muscle tension in my neck as best I could. That’s when it hit me.
Emotion swelled up in my chest and I felt intensely upset. Agitated, sad, angry–I was extremely emotionally and physically uncomfortable. Tears started to rim my eyelids, everything felt “off” and I wanted out of the pose, out of class, out of my own skin.
Then, just as suddenly as I was overcome with these negative emotions, they seemed to wash away. I felt fine. Great, actually. I could have stayed in that forward fold for the entire duration of class.
Whoa what the hell was that?!
WEARING | Fabletics bra (<–currently doing a Labor Day sale and giving you your first outfit for only $15!) + Alo Yoga Goddess Leggings c/o Amazon (also obsessed with the high-waisted moto legging from Alo)
A seemingly rudimentary yoga pose triggered a complete catharsis. Weird, unexpected, but the more I thought about the experience, the more it started to make sense to me. I don’t have great posture by any means. My shoulders roll forward and my neck looks permanently craned. Anatomically, it makes sense that I’d feel muscular tightness in the back of my neck due to this poor postural alignment. And on a deeper level–this is where the post gets a little “new age” and a few of you might roll your eyes haha–I see an interesting emotional connection as well.
Why do I have poor posture? Sitting at a computer all day doesn’t help, but it started all the way back in middle school when I started to become painfully self-conscious about my above-average height. Today I LOVE being tall, but being a solid six inches higher than every boy in the 6th grade is a true struggle for a pubescent girl (it was for me anyway). I would stand with a wide stance, stick one hip out, slouch downward, hunch my shoulders–anything to seem shorter next to my classmates. And that pretty much continued all throughout high school as well.
So in a way, that area of physical tightness also represents a lot of insecurities and less-than-pleasant emotions for me. Could it be that these past couple years of regular yoga practice have not only helped release the tight muscles, but the emotions onto which they were tightly clenching?
I’ve had this physical trigger of an emotional release happen once before when I was a kid. My mom brought me to an acupuncturist (not for any specific reason, just to get me on her patient roster) and when I left the appointment, I started sobbing in the car. I was agitated, uncomfortable, intensely upset for no apparent reason and just remember saying over and over again to my mom, “I hated that, I’m never doing acupuncture again, I hate it, I hate it, why’d you make me do that?!” But even then I didn’t really think the unexpected wave of negative emotions was really directed at the acupuncture. Rather the acupuncture had somehow released pent-up, unresolved sadness and anger that my body had been holding.
This was a bit of a random post, but I keep thinking about how cool it was to experience such an intense moment of connection between mind and body. As I physically let go of the tension in my neck, I emotionally let go of some junk as well.
Or, maybe I’m making something out of nothing and I just had a surge of PMS. I’m open to that, too. 😉
Have you had an experience like this before? Was it in yoga class? At a chiropractor? Where? So interested to hear from you guys on the topic–would love for you to share in the comments section!
P.S. Just realized that the title of this post makes it totally sound like I’m talking about farting. L. O. L.
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