We all experience emotions and go through them every single day, sometimes it can be like a roller coaster ride from feeling sad to joy, angry to happy, love to fear. Especially when we experience negative emotions, we may distract or try to push them away through food, alcohol, substances or other things to numb ourselves from it. Yoga provides a context to meet our feelings and build emotional strength. Let’s first understand where emotions come from so that we can address them appropriately.
Emotions talking to the body
When our physical body comes into contact with an experience, it floods the brain with all kinds of chemicals to trigger an emotional response. Every physical response is connected to an emotion, and every emotion is connected to a physical response. As you can imagine, our body can store all kinds of emotions as we move through our lives and can influence our action and interaction on a daily basis.
Emotions are not enemy but can provide us with sacred information for us to thrive within ourselves and our lives when we gain mastery over them. So that we can become stronger and more stable and joyful.
How yoga build emotional strength
When you work with your body in yoga, emotional issues will likely come to the forefront. Emotion after all means energy that moves. When you move your body, you shift energy and hence emotion that may get stored in the body. Yoga incorporates breathing and the breath is key to moving energy around. Learn more about how to boost your chi flow.
It has been researched that mental and emotional condition can affect the state of the physical body as the mind-body connection is real. You can sometimes tell by simply looking at someone posture, it shows not only their habitual pattern but also the emotions that are stored behind.
3 techniques to build emotional strength
1. Regulate your breath during yoga
By regulating the breath, you begin to stabilise a breathing pattern that can carry you through your yoga practice even when you meet challenging poses. The breath effectively helps dissolve feelings that bring you down and allow those difficult emotions to pass. When you maintain a smooth and steady breath, it moves any difficult emotions out of your system.
2. Build emotional resilience
When we meet our edge during a yoga practice, the immediate response is to back off when sensations become too intense. As much as it is important to listen to the body’s limitation, it is also important to discern if the edge causes pain the body that is not appropriate to proceed or is it because of the sensation that brings up fear or anger that you’re trying to avoid. By staying with the difficulty of a pose, it allows our awareness to be flooded with sensations which build tolerance physically and mentally, hence build greater emotional strength. Each time we successfully navigate distress, we become more capable to build our emotional resilience.
3. Relax into an emotion
When an emotion arises whether it’s anger, grief, loss or sadness, it is often easy to avoid it or try to push it away. As much as it is difficult to face a distressing or difficult emotion, the more we shy away from it the more it is stuck in our body. The most effective way is to meet our even toughest of emotions with a gentle acknowledgement, to stay present with the experience of the emotion and pay attention to it without the need for your mind to analyse or judge. Instead consciously allow the body to relax into the emotion which assists the emotion to eradicate.
Anytime you work with the body, you are also working with the mind and the energy system to dissolve any blockages of any unresolved issues. The more you master your emotional stability and strength, the stronger and more joyful your life becomes.
Slow down and breathe,