Friday, February 19, 2010

Crying in Shavasana?!

I never thought it would happen to me. I've heard about people having weired reactions to yoga (or massage) but it had never crossed my mind that yoga can make me cry (not from pain). I went to my hot yoga class today after a long break (replaced by stott pilates). I so needed to go! I've been feeling this stiffness all over my body so I planned my schedule around the lunch-hour class. I love the style of the teacher that leads the Friday classes and was looking forward to stretching my body in the hot room.

Well, the teacher had changed his usual routine and had incorporated some very cool dance-like move sequences, where you twist and turn around our own body ("dance bridges"). It's hard to explain, just imagine doing back bends balancing on one hand and the opposite foot and then switching sides while constantly moving. At first, I was afraid to attempt the sequence of moves but when I finally mustered the courage to do so I was surprised by how good and liberating it felt. It was just awesome! The flow of the moves was so soothing (although it took considerable core strength to do it) and after a while my body fell in its own rhythm. Here is what it looks like, just imagine rotating around your own body in this pose.

 I was right in front of the mirrored wall and could see the excitement in my face. I even thought "wow, I look like a young girl during her ballet class". Long story short, the class was great and after 75 minutes of sheer joy I was SO ready to go into my last pose, the Shavasana. I love Shavasana, I always fall asleep in it. Well, not this time. As I settled onto my mat, wet body covered with my towel, and the lights went off, the teacher put this AMAZING music! Music that got right into a part of my 'inner self" that was so sensitive ... or maybe weak.. not sure exactly but a minute later tears started rolling down my face (and pooling in my ears, I hate that!)... I was floored... I didn't know what to do! I didn't know what triggered it, I was feeling so good up to that point.  These were no tears of joy, they were sad tears but also tears of relieve... I wasn't weeping, I just had these rivers of tears and I didn't know how to stop them (or if I should even try to stop them). After few minutes the teacher came to put lavender oil on the back of my neck (he does this to everybody) and saw my tears (I was hoping he won't notice in the dark room or he'd think it's just sweat). But he did and he said "Good, don't keep it in".

I am a psychologist, I can give you million explanations of why I cried today but the truth is, I really don't know (could be my PMS). Was it some kind of a spiritual connection I made with the music that the yoga practice had facilitated? Was it that my body was super tense and the intense stretching the hot room opened up some channels (chi)? I don't know.

When I got out of the changing room the teacher was waiting for me and said:

"If you don't feel comfortable talking to me, make sure to at least talk to a friend about it"

me: "Really? Why? I felt great, I was just very tense and the class helped me release my negative energy"
teacher: " Hm, not really! It's not as simple as that. I can help you. That's what I do."
me: "Oh, you are a psychologist too?"
teacher: "oh, no, no, no. I do yoga"
me: "I don't understand, I just did your class?!"
teacher (putting a business card in my hand): "Call me and we'll start with sun salutations, we have a lot to talk about"....
and then he left
me: confused!

So, is there something I don't know about yoga? He sounded so mysterious but also so sure I had no clue about  the important things in ... yoga?

My question to you: Have you cried during or after yoga?

BTW, here is the website of the yoga teacher. I checked it all - did not find any answers. I am definitely intrigued as to how he can help me and will talk to him again next time I go to his class.


  1. Wow...that is such an amazing experience. I have a feeling you may have had some pent up stress that was very relieved to be released. We need to talk more about this in person :)

  2. I did exactly that! It was the weirdest thing, just streams of tears during shivasana. I can tell you I was going thru a very stressful time with my sister when it happened. It was so overwhelming. I've never heard of anyone doing it before.

  3. That is so interesting!!! I'm always interested in learning more about the full practice of yoga, both mind and body. I think it's amazing that you had that experience. Let us know what he tells you, I'm all intrigued now!!!

  4. no idea, but let us know if you talk to him

  5. I have yet to take a Yoga class...but this post was so interesting. I don't know...I'm not a Yoga teacher ( OBVIOUSLY) or a pyschologist...but it sounds like the class opened up some door ~ and you needed a release. Now you just need to discover what you are releasing. Keep us updated please...this is so interesting to me.

  6. I've never done Bikram, which I know is intense, but I've heard a few sniffles at the end of my yoga classes before. You can tell a cold sniffle from a cry one. Our instructor tells us to first let go and then return to our bodies, so what you experienced makes sense to me. I think the yoga instructor is just being helpful in case you're in denial (not saying you are, just that he might believe it).

  7. I have cired during savasana, and that was the one of most releiving things ever happened. Actually It is so similar to the experience you have told however I knew why I was crying. It was an old subcouncious blockage and I had faced my true feelings about it while tears pooled in my ears silently =)) The thing is that it was after the class in which we have practiced similar positions in the class. I guess it has something to do with heart chakra, if you consider the positions. Lots of loves, Pinar.

  8. I haven't had this experience during savasana but when I got in the car after class today I suddenly felt like crying. The same thing happened after a recent massage. I wonder if a release of tension is somehow related to a release of emotion.

  9. Wow, amazing post. I have been searching for these kind of posts and I have found so many others experienced what I experienced today in my first hot yoga class. This was my first ever yoga class and I didn't know what to expect. The poses were challenging as I was shaky in many of them.. But that is normal and a good sign. After the one hour we went to savasana (corpse position) and something amazing happened... Exactly as u described it.. That peaceful music came on and I lay there on my back, eyes closed, hands to the side palms open, feet out... And tears started streaming from the sides of my face.. I couldn't understand what was happening to me but I quickly wiped them with my towel... But again they kept streaming uncontrollable.. For no specific reason I could pinpoint.. Just relief.. I just felt good and a sense of release. It was just amazing and I did not expect it at all. I don't know much about yoga and I went in there to stretch, relax and relieve some sore muscles frm a previous workout 2 days prior... Little did I know this would happen. It was Just amazing and believe it or not, life changing. In glad I didn't read about it beforehand because now discovering about it after and that it happens to others is so amazing. There definitely is something about the savasana position after the physics yoga positions that helps to release emotions, energies and get a glimpse of your true inner self. I felt as if I had released some negative energies and was forming position ones. Absolutely amazing. I didn't even share this with anyone because I feel you need to experience it to see but go in without any expectations because at times you will feel nothing and at others you will feel a lot.