Saturday, October 25, 2008

Welcome, Emotions!

My new class, LifeForce yoga is going really well. Students are courageously experiencing themselves honestly. This is “feel your feelings” yoga.

In a recent class, one person laughed a few times. Another had tears after savasana. And yet another wasn’t experiencing any dramatic emotion. As teacher, I encourage the experience of emotion when it naturally shows up in class. I say, let it run its course. During yoga practice is a safe time to do this.

According to Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. (My Stroke of Insight), when emotions are triggered, it takes 90 seconds for the emotion to show up, “surge through” the body, “and then be flushed out” of the blood stream. Physiologically, the experience can be short, but if a person hooks into the emotion mentally it can last much longer. So, there is a choice when working with the emotions.

In yoga practice (as well as in life), I can be empowered by this information. When an emotion comes up, and I realize that I’ve been triggered, I then bring my attention to the physical experience and breathe. This allows me to experience the feeling as it moves through me, and honors my truth (which I can choose to act on when timing is appropriate).

But, if I focus only on the story lines that might come up about why I’m feeling this way, it can give my mind too much power, thereby continuing to trigger and even intensify the emotional response of my body. My choice is to bring my attention to the ever-changing flow of feelings in my body to help me clarify my mental, physical, and emotional space.

This process is spiritual house cleaning, clearing the space for me to connect authentically with myself, instead of confusing old wounds for my essential being. Potentially, this is also laying groundwork that strengthens my overall personality structure.

Feet embrace the solid ground, spirit soars, heart loves, and hands create in service of spirit. When I can walk in the world in this embodied and connected way, the experience of life is uplifting, and I am a positive energy source.

1 comment:

rachel w said...

Brooks, this is so beautiful, and so important. I love all of it, but particularly the way you describe not confusing old wounds for your essential being. Thanks for writing it!

Rachel W