How do you feel after yoga?
so many times i am asked about students’ post-yoga conditions. some have questions about how they feel immediately after class. some feel it hours after and some “feel their yoga” for days after or not until days after they practice.
“Wow! I was totally Zapped after class! I was exhausted!”
“Wow! I was so energized after class, I couldn’t sleep!”
these post-yoga physical conditions are fluid and changeable, often moving from the two ends of the spectrum until finally settling down with regular practice. we do find though even after a long time of practicing in the hot room that we still can see the manifestation of extreme physical reactions to the asanas. these come to experienced yogis when they begin to get deeper into the postures or perhaps as they have breakthroughs and evolve either physically , spiritually or emotionally. (i know a very experienced yoga teacher who vomited after a class recently)
here’s my theory as short and as sweet as i can give it i decided to do this in installments to make it easier to digest. So let’s get started.
we are composed of the gross physical body. we also possess a spirit or a soul or a subtle ’energy’ that animates the physical body. most are aware of this. but there is much more to who/what we are.
when we do asanas we are practicing yoga with our gross physical body. this is obvious. some of us are only doing yoga to benefit the physical body or to make it look in a way that pleases us. for whatever reason the yogi comes to the mat he or she is working on things much much deeper than a flat belly or a healthy back.
we (the body and our soul) are surrounded by and made up of subtle energy bodies fed by this life- force; prana. we speak of these subtle bodies and their anatomy with specific ancient Sanskrit words. chakras. auric layers. koshas. nadis. all of this subtle anatomy is touched upon and stimulated during your hatha yoga practice. the effect the postures have that day that moment, on the subtle self generally determines how you feel during and after yoga. through an experienced teacher’s sequencing and intuition you can be gently brought deeper and into hopefully, sweeter spaces of existence. as you practice your moving and breathing in yoga, the “stuff” you bring emotionally and spiritually (whether you are aware of it or not) will be affected. sometimes this ecstasy – sometimes not so pleasant.
in the next installment we will further discuss specific bits of our subtle anatomy and begin to define these metaphysical terms. until then, begin to notice which postures you “like” and those you “don’t like”. what are our reasons for these preferences? are they from the ego or the soul?
oh, and how do YOU feel after yoga?