At the end of class recently during savasana, I rubbed a student’s feet.  She burst into tears.  This happens from time to time.  The power of touch can be so cathartic in the yoga practice.  I think we all need more TLC than we receive on a regular basis and when we get it when we least expect it, the feeling can be overwhelming.  I’ve cried during meditation, chanting, holding deep postures for long periods of time, and even while listening to a student reveal their own discoveries through the practice.  Well, maybe I’m just a big crybaby, I’ll accept that, or maybe it is one way of release that simply finds it’s way out through my eyes!

Yoga has a way of bringing out those tears of joy as it peels back the layers that have built up over the years covering over stale energy and bound feelings that until that certain moment had no space to move through.  Sometimes the joy of tears is just a release of prana, energy, life force.  They have nothing to do with any long-repressed emotion or need to feel something.  This prana kriya, manifiestation of energy, can be a way to clear the body, on many levels, of that which no longer serves us, creating space. 

The best thing I have found to do when the flood gates open up is to get out of the way and let it flow.  Don’t think about it, or analyze it, or try and determine why it’s happening, simply step aside and allow for that energy to move through.  It needs to go, so give it space.  Easier said than done sometimes.  When I was in teacher training I had an encounter with another student in class and I felt very embarassed and misunderstood.  I cried for three days!  I tried to get out of the way, but I had to go to the grocery store and interact with my family and live my life; it was difficult.  The tears really had nothing to do with the classroom encounter, instead, the incident was just the posture that pushed the energy out. 

Since those earlier days of letting go the tears, it doesn’t happen much anymore, at least not that frequently or with that type of force.  The practice over time has a way of sweeping out what holds us back and down and we are left with a joyful feeling of lightness…and it was there all the time.

We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.  -Walter Anderson