We often suppress difficult emotions so we can focus on our daily tasks. Perhaps we don’t want to be reminded of painful events or avoid being a burden to others. Sadness is perceived as a negative emotion and most people either deny its existence or consciously ignore it. I agree that there is a time and place to express dark emotions. (You can’t rant about a nasty breakup at your friend’s bridal shower, for example.) Most of the time, we have to bottle up our feelings of grief or pain just to get through the day. However, there are moments when we’re on the mat and the feelings we hold in start pouring out unintentionally. This has happened to me on several occasions and all I could do was surrender to the rush of emotion. Sometimes, when transitioning from on pose to another or during savasana, I find myself in tears. I try not to judge myself when this happens. Yoga opens us up and allows us to empty our minds. It is in this emptiness that permission to feel what we need to feel is granted. Beginners might get scared of this occurrence so it is important to remember that what comes out during practice – sadness, anger, and even aggression – is meant to come out and be felt. I have learned to teach myself to cry or feel emotional discomfort without judgment while on the mat and remind myself that this is the release I need at that very moment.