“Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying knows spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer. Crying includes all the principles of Yoga.” ―Kripalvanandji
I’m one of those people that have never cried during or after a yoga class. I’ve heard the stories from fellow yogis who attended a class that brought out a deep emotional or spiritual release that moved them to the point of tears, and I’ve wondered, “What the hell is wrong with me?” Yeah, I’ve gotten a few drops of condensation in the eyes after an especially moving asana practice, but I’ve never achieved a full-on gusher.
Well, I’m happy to report that it finally happened – I got my yoga cry – and it was GOOD!
Plus, I got the added bonus of experiencing my spiritual breakthrough while practicing my all-time favorite, numero uno form of yoga. It was a Thursday, the sun was rising out of the Atlantic Ocean and sending streams of light peeking through the clouds, the soothing sound of waves crashing onto the beach provided the consummate playlist, seagulls were soaring through the air, and the wind and warm air swept across my tired, achy, winter-worn body. I had not been on a beach to practice yoga since October. I had not been on a beach vacation in over two years. I had let myself forget how the combination of all those elements, how that complete communion with nature could lift me to a state of absolute bliss.
As I went through my opening sun salutations and stood with my hands resting against my heart in anjali mudra (prayer position), I was overcome with emotion and began to cry tears of joy. I stood there with a heart bursting with gratitude for the majesty of the ocean before me, for the healing power of the sun and warm winds, and for this awe-inspiring practice of yoga that has brought so much goodness to my life. Instead of rushing to the next sun salutation, I stood there in tadasana taking the time to savor the sobbing, letting the sun shine down on me, fully present in my prayer.
“The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.” -John Vance Cheney
I have to say – this might have been one of my coolest yoga experiences to date!
The funny thing about this trip is that, before I went, I spent a lot of time looking into the yoga studios in the area of Florida that I visited, and I had a full list and maps for a few that I was excited to visit. The first day of vacation, I was ready to head out the door to visit one of these studios when my husband (who, I don’t admit enough, is very wise) asked me why I wasn’t heading down to the beach for my practice. Great question, and I’m so glad he was there to remind me! I picked up my beach towel, headed to the beach, and you know the rest of the story. I never picked up that list again, and instead, I had my daily cup of beach yoga nirvana each and every day of my vacation.
I did make it to one yoga studio, the 3rd Street Beach Yoga class in South Beach Miami, and I’ll be writing about that yogalicious experience very soon!
I’m home from vacation now, back to practicing yoga inside a studio, but I’m not letting myself get bummed out about that. Instead, I’m listening to the wisdom of Dr. Seuss:
“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”
And I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, only a little over a hundred days until I get to practice outdoor yoga again on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie again.