When things get stressful, many of us emotionally shut off. Instead of sitting with feelings of sadness or anger, we have a drink or binge-watch TV until we don’t feel anything anymore. But running away from your feelings isn’t a permanent solution—chances are, the feelings you’re running from will come back even stronger than before.
When we practice yoga, we focus on the connection between our mind and body, and that includes all the difficult, mixed up feelings we carry around with us each day. It’s okay to feel sad—and in fact, sometimes the only way out of that sadness is to move through it.
Our society pressures us to be happy all the time—or at least appear that way. Case in point: the question “how are you?” is always answered with “I’m fine,” even when it’s not true.
But this is not the case in yoga. You don’t have to pretend to be fine when you’re actually hurt on the inside. You never have to put on a fake smile and pretend to be some upbeat model on a fitness ad—it’s okay to bring your feelings of sadness with you to your practice, if you need to.