Yin and restorative forms of yoga help the body to release stored emotions and memories, through holding gentle, supported poses for an extended period of time. The idea behind it is when we feel supported, we are able to breathe deeply, and we enable our body to surrender. During this release, we are in a meditative state, allowing our minds to more objectively connect to what is being released, also allowing an emotional release. It’s not uncommon at all to cry during yin, or gentle forms of yoga – it’s a good thing. So often we don’t allow ourselves the chance to process emotions until it becomes a huge build-up in our body.
How We Get Stored Muscle Memory
Think about learning to play an instrument – our body forms the muscle memory in our synapses so we don’t even really need to think about our reactions any more. This also works when you experience negative physical and emotional situations. Think about when you get startled. Your body tenses up. This tension is now connected to that emotion and stored in our synapses. You get startled again, your likely to have the same reaction, compounding on this tension in an area in your body and making it a greater part of your reality. It may not even be obvious to us. Most of us stop breathing when we’re stressed, which is the very thing we need to do to stay alert for critical thinking. When we don’t breathe we also put our bodies into a further state of stress. Or perhaps it’s a little more serious, with more emotional ties to tension in your body. Many of us have experienced trauma in some form in our lives, however; unlike animals who process it immediately by making noises and shaking, we tend to bottle it up. We keep this bottled and continue to add to it – often subconsciously, until we finally need to let it out.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to give ourselves the space to process these emotions. Sometimes it takes a few hours, days, or even years. There can be layers to it. By regularly giving yourself the time alone to process, through movement and meditation (mindfulness) in whatever form you like – swimming, walking in nature, painting, music, breathwork, you will find you are more at peace. Sleep is also to help us process, but often the messages get jumbled. Unlike sleep, when we are in a meditative state, we are slightly more conscious, allowing the emotion to process as it is connected to intuitive thought – which can bring greater healing.
Somatic & Sound Healing
Using somatic (sensation) and sound healing can be very powerful during yin and healing sessions. Somatic can be through gentle touch,, similar to how craniosacral and some healers work. EFT can also help us tap into ourselves intuitively. There are also non-touch approaches, yet the client or student still feels sensations of release through their body, or energy moving. Sound therapy, using crystal bowls, tuning forks, the gong, and solfeggio frequencies helps us reach a deeper state of relaxation with greater ease for greater release.
It’s important to trust your body, and know it knows exactly what it needs to do. To do this you need to feel safe, and it’s completely ok to take the time to find the practitioner that feels right to you – in fact I think most teachers and practitioners would appreciate this, as we have also done our intuitive & healing work.
Sharing the Knowledge
This is an important skill to teach children for self-awareness, self-confidence, and peace in our communities. When we are better in-tune with ourselves, we are able to communicate more effectively, and understand others. This is why we teach children breath-work and mindfulness in our kids classes and summer camps. Showing children this very simple tool at a young age can make a world of difference to their lives. Children are receptive and naturally intuitive. If we can give them a healthy coping skill at a young age – think about the difference it can make!
You are welcome to join us for Meditation & Pranayama or Yin anytime! Both are gentle practices, open to all levels. If you are looking for more assisted healing, please contact Katie for referrals: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s an interesting article if you want to read more about this!