I have to admit, there is such a freeing feeling in crying in yoga class. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen from time to time. When it does, it’s usually not a sad cry, but rather one driven by a deep feeling of gratitude or love that just absolutely overwhelms me. I’ve had a couple students ask me if it’s weird if they cry in savasana, and my answer is always ‘no, not at all’. In fact a couple months ago I found myself in the same place.
I headed back up to Santa Cruz to visit family in April, and if you’ve read the recap of my last trip then you know that there is a lot of amazing yoga in this town. So I took a Sunday morning flow class with Michelle at Santa Cruz Yoga and, oh man, was it glorious! I found myself dripping with sweat. Not the frantic sweat that comes with trying to keep up. But rather a sweat that was just a result of a steady and focused practice. We flowed through a creative vinyasa sequence, and I was able to really appreciate the intelligence in her class sequencing.
As always I walked away with some new tools to bring into my own practice and teaching. She concluded the class with a seated meditation before savasana, encouraging us to just be present with the thoughts flowing through the mind but reminded us “not to build a story around any one thought”. That really struck me, and if you’ve been to my class since then you’ve probably heard me use the same phrasing. It’s a great way to explain meditation, and I can’t believe I’d never heard it put that way. Watch the thoughts come and go, but just let them be. Don’t make them anything they’re not. Brilliant.
After we worked through a cool-down and counterposes, she brought us all to a seated meditation. After a few minutes I started to feel like I was floating, so light and airy. Then she offered options – either stay in a seated meditation or move into savasana. Now, I rarely skip savasana – in fact I’ve been to a couple classes where the instructor skipped savasana, and I was piiiissed – because I feel it’s so important to the practice. But in that moment I felt so entranced and calm in my meditation that I decided to stay. I fought off the urge to look around and see who else chose to stay, and who chose savasana. It didn’t matter.
I sat there, and while I knew I was in a room filled with other yogis, I was suddenly completely unaware of their existence. Beyond me was just this chocolate brown expanse of nothingness. I began to feel simultaneously like I was firmly rooted in the earth below me, and floating above it. And then it happened. I began to see a small teardrop of light appear in front of my third eye. Not like looking at a light, but more like sensing a light through closed eyes. It grew slowly, and then began to drop down upon me. I felt warmth and love and joy. I sat in stillness as drops of light began to pour down on me. It was so serene, that I began to feel my eyes well up with tears of joy.
When Michelle gently brought us back to awareness, I still felt this incredible connection to, well everything. We closed the practice with 3 rolling Oms and the beautiful symphony of voices around me brought more tears to the surface. I found myself unable to speak after class, in fact I had to fold back over my crossed legs with my palms on the ground to allow myself to continue to feel. I wasn’t ready to face the world yet. It took me about 15 minutes to shake the urge to continue crying, and that beautiful floating, connected feeling lasted another hour after that. I’ve never felt such peace before.
Have you ever cried in yoga before?