I have been practicing yoga for several years now, and I remember the first time I cried during a yoga class. I was confused as to why it was happening, but I had some intuitive sense that it was a good thing.
Yoga can bring up and help us release trapped emotions. This is because yoga is a practice which helps us connect the mind, body, and spirit, which are connected through our emotions.
The physical body stores trapped emotions from the past and within the emotional body—also known as the energetic chakra system, or the energy body. Certain yoga postures and stretches can bring these trapped emotions to the surface, especially in areas like the hips, thighs, and lower back. These are areas where people commonly store stress, trauma, and might even experience physical pain.
If you are crying because you think you are further adding stress to an injury, I would recommend to take it slowly and to avoid doing anything that further increases injury. The type of crying I am referring to are those of a more emotional nature rather than those caused by physical pain.
Some people will avoid doing yoga because of the emotional pain it can bring up, because they think it might be a bad thing, but let me stress that it’s actually a good thing to cry during yoga—it is a physical representation of the toxins you are releasing during your practice, and you will leave feeling a lot lighter, like a weight has been lifted.
Many people are afraid of the vulnerability it takes to dive into and access the pain, because they know there is a lot of it there. People often fear that tapping into it might cause all of it to come bursting out at once. That is not the case, and that is not how it works. We are only allowed to see as much as we can handle at once.
Oftentimes we try to cover up or hide our true emotions in order to fit into society for survival purposes, because it is what we have been taught to do. But eventually everyone is forced to deal with the truth of their own soul. Yoga is one way to practice maintenance and to release these trapped emotions and their associated chemicals in a safe and effective way. Tears and crying will not always occur, but the sweat, stretching, and movement are also good ways to help release them.