When the Current Changes

Experiencing negative emotions during yoga and meditation

Glowing Yellow Smoke Background

Here’s a little surprise for you. Yoga and meditation do not always invoke positive feelings. Of course, your goal is to get to those positive feelings, but sometimes you have to remove some negative ones. The only way to deal with negative feelings is to face them.

Yoga and meditation sometimes like to honor you with these little unexpected gifts of self-awareness. The last few days have been positive overall, but today was drastically different. I became so upset during meditation that I had to stop.

I have to be honest here. I’ve never been diagnosed with depression, but I’m fairly certain I suffer from it — at least from time to time. I stopped therapy due to my job loss, but as soon as I find a new source of income, I intend to get back to it.

Today’s practice and meditation released something in me. An hour later, I’m still having trouble digesting it. I have read that these negative feelings that arise during yoga and meditation are from past experiences. They’re trapped emotions that may not necessarily be related to your current life at all.

Lesson 1: Don’t be surprised if you experience negative emotions during yoga or meditation. That is part of the process — to acknowledge these parts of you and face them.

I’m not sure what it is. I am certain that something was released or opened during my practice. Because I’m still feeling some discomfort around it, I’m not sure if I have let it go completely.

I was going to save you from another one of my meditation mini-movies, but after thinking about it more, I feel like this one may be more important than the others. Why? Because if you are dealing with depression or at least depressed thoughts, you’ll see you are not alone. Also, although I stopped my meditation today, I am feeling a little better about it. In other words, although the current changed in my life flow, I’m learning to ride the wave rather than fight against it.

Also, this is a little bit cathartic for me. I’ll be honest. You see, I have these thoughts, and I keep them bottled up or written down in my journal. I don’t express them to anyone else. Perhaps it’s time I did.

So with that, here is my meditation (much shorter than previous ones):

It begins in an open room. No furniture — just four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. A natural light beams down into the room. In the center, a cloud of mist, golden and luminous, dances a few feet above the floor.

After a few minutes, a black, smoke-like mist seeps into the center from the top down. The golden cloud twists tightly like a tornado as if it is trying to wring out or choke the black smoke. The two entwine so tightly they become a single shade of gray.

Eventually, they unravel and begin to wrestle with one another — twisting and tugging back and forth. The black mist grows stronger and overtakes the gold mist, enveloping it until there is only a small sliver of visible along the bottom. The struggle continues althoug the golden mist is hidden. Finally, the struggle stops. There is no more movement.

The black mist lowers to the ground and gently releases the golden mist. It seeps into the ground and disappears. The black mist settles to the floor and disappears as well.

The black mist won. It wasn’t the positive energy, yet I felt relieved. My soul was at peace … at rest. No more fighting or struggling.

In my physical body, eyes still closed in meditation, my heart ached. Literally ached. It felt constricted. Tears were already rolling down my cheeks. I had the thought, “I want my heart to stop aching … I want my heart to … stop.”

I couldn’t continue after that. I tear up writing about it. But, more importantly, I’m facing it. I’m sharing it as part of my facing it. This is not easy for me. It’s not what I do. I’m very private. I know it may not seem like it here, but I am.

This whole blog has been a practice in opening up for me. Allowing myself to be me. Flawed. Imperfect. Sometimes depressed. Me.

I also believe that part of the purpose of yoga and meditation is to help us with our dark sides. We all have them. We have to experience them or they will choke us in some way or another. We’ll have a heart attack or we’ll give up on life or we’ll take it out on others. However they manifest, emotions will find a way to the surface. It is better to deal with them even if you end up in tears in the middle of your living room floor on a beautiful day.

Lesson 2: We all have a dark side. We must embrace it or at least accept it through mindfulness practices. Otherwise, it can harm us.

I’ve talked about finding my purpose in the past. I’m beginning to think that dealing with depression or other mental/emotional challenges may be a part of that. At the very least, it is something I need to deal with in order to move forward.

I do, however, believe that yoga and meditation are helping face these things, as well as cope with them. I found this article on dealing with negative emotions during your practice and thought it was comforting and helpful. I hope you do as well.

Peace, y’all.

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