Tears on the Mat

I was on my mat, at the end of a tough class in half pigeon pose, feeling a sense of surrender, I cried. Has this happened to you? Have you an emotion swell up inside you during your practice and then suddenly realize tears are streaming down your cheeks? Have you felt the relief of letting go so much that you sobbed on your mat? If tears have been a part of your practice, I am here to reassure you that tears are perfectly normal, and in fact, tears signify transformation.

I have had a few students approach me after class to share with me that they cried during class. Sometimes my words or my inspirational message hits close to home. Sometimes their tears are from accomplishment, other times, a release, or even a realization. Whatever the reason, it is okay.

Crying is perfectly normal when practicing yoga and nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. When you cry in yoga class, it is because you are doing the inner work, not just the physical workout. When you have a shift or release, it is because you are focused on yourself and your breath and movement, and stillness, and on your emotions, thoughts and your awareness of them. That IS yoga!

The next time tears pay you a visit on your mat, smile, acknowledge the work you are doing, both physically and mentally, and greet them with an acceptance and appreciation. That is the beauty of yoga.