The Essence of Emotions

Discover the principles for working with emotion in your practice and in your life, that will leave you feeling enlightened and empowered. 

How do you respond when emotion arises on your mat or in your life?  What thoughts pass through your mind?  What happens in your physical body? 

The healthy processing of emotion leaves space in its wake.  This space gives us the ability to choose how we respond to situations in life, rather than being driven by our reactive emotional energy. In this choice we find freedom and the agency to act in alignment with the person we truly want to be.  

Contrary to what the mind may tell us, emotion is not anything to be ashamed or fearful of. In fact, emotion arising during the practice of yoga is a powerful opportunity for healing on a deep and sustainable level.   

As our practice evolves we begin to realise more is happening than physical rebalancing alone.  Yoga touches all parts of our being.  Through movement we are not only rebalancing our physical body but our mental, emotional and spiritual bodies as well.  They are all intimately connected.  

Since everything is energy, emotions are simply a form of energy.  Energy that is either in motion or stored and stagnant.  Moving our physical body through yoga asanas (postures) simultaneously moves our emotional body.  As a result, emotional energy previously lodged deep in the body may begin to shift.   

Have you ever cried on your mat or felt a build-up of tears that never quite broke through?  If so, you are not alone.  As teachers we often see the heaving of chests in half-pigeon pose or following a heart opening sequence.   

This rising of emotional energy is not anything to be concerned about.  Instead it is an opportunity for transformation and evolution.  

To truly and effectively transform and release emotional energy we must examine all the ways we relate to it – both on our mat and in our daily life.   As we investigate our relationship to emotion we may find our current approach lacking sustainability and effectiveness.  Herein lies an opportunity for a new way, idea or solution to be established.   

One such new way may be reframing the common idea that emotion is “negative” or undesirable. Instead, we can learn to see the value and messages that lies within our emotions.  For example, at its root, anger simply means "I don't want this".  With this new perspective we can meet our emotions with curiosity, acceptance and compassion in order to release them.  

This new understanding of the nature of emotion and the reprogramming of our relationship to them is one of the ways we shift from passive victim to empowered creator of ourselves and our lives.   

Find out more... check out our upcoming event The Essence of Emotions -with yoga teacher and life coach Jessica Mackie.

Written by Jessica Mackie