I'm reading a lot lately on the necessity to feel our emotions. Not bury them or repress them – to feel them and experience them. This is powerful advice and its what we are doing on the yoga mat. Feeling everything that comes to us. Feeling our bodies in space. Feeling our breath move. Feeling our FEELINGS.
Why is this so important?
Emotions are powerful energetic currents that are caused by the thought fluctuations in the mind. Emotions are our reactions to our thoughts. And in the same way we get caught up in our “stories” - we get caught up in the turbulence of our emotions. And just like the thoughts, we can use them for our own evolution or we can allow them to use us as a playground for distraction.
ALL emotions are valid. All of them. And not only are they valid – they are a power source of healing, transformation and creation. We can spend a lot of time and energy repressing uncomfortable emotions. Repressing emotions creates inner tension because emotions are meant to move. The very word – emotion – is derived from the Latin word – emovere - which means to move out.
Anodea Judith wrote in her book “Wheels of Life” - emotions promote the evolution of consciousness through the body. She says – when we emote – we move energy out of the unconscious mind, through the body and into the conscious mind. Wow!
Emotions stem from thoughts – so when we have an experience in the present moment and the mind creates a thought about it – an emotion will result. When we don't experience those emotions (and sometimes we don't even let ourselves process the thoughts)they get stuck in the body.
Years ago, I was beginning the exploration of releasing stored emotions in my body through a modality called Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. My therapist put me in a supported pigeon pose, which is a deep hip opener and after a few targeted questions, before I knew it – I was sobbing about my fear that I would never get married and have children. (Update, be careful what you wish for, you may get it.)
I had no idea that fear was living in my body like that! It was a huge release to experience it and let it go. Chronic lower back pain. Gone. Intermittent sciatica..gone.
And that is what emotions are meant to do. Be experienced and then released. In fact, when we experience the emotion and really acknowledge it, it dissolves. It is when we turn our back on the expression of it – when we distract ourselves from it – that it lingers and becomes imbalance.
Emotions expressed can heal us of trauma. Emotions expressed can transform unconscious patterns of emotions to conscious patterns that can be shifted. When we clear ourselves of repressed emotions and become conscious; we can then use our emotions to create the life we want for ourselves. More on that soon!