Since suppressed emotions are stored in the body, we have to engage in practices that help us release them. Movement, massage, and exercise are some of the physical ways to get that energy out of the body. Please be sure to read last week’s blog as well, How The Body Stores Emotions.
Yoga is always the most recommend form of movement to help you move out stuck emotional energy. Dance is also a fantastic choice, which has the secondary benefit of getting you into an energizing emotion as well. I dance to the song Uptown Funk when I need to get out nervous energy and shift my vibe up.
“It’s these habitual postures that yoga—and emotional release yoga specifically—seeks to gently massage out. “We often assume certain postures when we feel something. When we feel optimistic and happy, our chest is open, our spine is upright. When we feel pessimistic, we usually round our back and kind of collapse our chest. When you feel certain emotion over and over and over, that posture solidifies and you create this solid structure of fascia that basically represents what you’ve been feeling over an extended period of time.”
“What happens in yoga is that when we start moving the body and stretching and rehydrating the fascia, the emotions that are stuck in the web of that collagenous tissue, they’re being released,” says Tanekeyeva. While it’s often something might only notice in yourself, as you discreetly weep in a particularly deep hip-opening asana, Tanekeyeva has seen it all in her years of teaching. “I will see people laughing in the room, or crying sometimes or getting really frustrated doing a pose. That’s what’s really happening, we are rehydrating fascia and we’re changing that structure and all of a sudden the emotion pops up.” – Elle
Be sure to see the character archetypes mentioned in this week’s video by clicking here.
There’s another practice called Somatic Experiencing developed by trauma therapist Peter Levine. Rather than movement, you focus in on the sensations in your body to feel and release emotions. It’s generally used for more severe trauma and practitioners guide you slowly and safely through the healing work.
If you’re open and feel safe trusting what your body’s telling you, you may find an ache or pain or even tension to be related to something that happened to you, usually in childhood. And just bringing awareness to it and feeling it moves it out of your body.
I was recently introduced by my friend to a more aggressive form of somatic experiencing. Apparently, there are intuitive practitioners who will actually move or do things to your body during a healing session that get deeply buried emotions out. It sounds fascinating, but be sure you find a practitioner you trust who’s qualified to do that type of work.
Getting Into Position
It may not be that you even need to really move, just be put in a certain position. For example, when my voice coach had me stand up to do some exercises, just that was triggering. It took me back to standing in front of a critical parent and feeling very small and unworthy. I actually froze during the session and just covered my face. The experience gave me the opportunity to deconstruct what I was feeling so I could heal it. I’m certainly thankful it happened with a loving coach!
Dr. Berman in Quantum Love says, “See illness, aches, pains, and afflictions as the body’s way of knocking on the door of our consciousness. It will keep knocking louder and louder until we answer the call of our essential selves… So these experiences and emotions are with us all of the time, and the more we can move them out of our body the more we can stay present in the moment and what’s coming up for us now.”
What movement practice will you start today to help you move old emotions out?