People often ask me the best yoga pose for a stiff neck, sore back, or tight shoulders.

But chronic muscle tension is not caused by a lack of stretching.

The real cause of muscle tension is stress, and that stress is often emotional.

Every time we bottle up our anger, we suppress our resentment, or we tell ourselves to be positive when we’re sad, we’re storing tension in our body.

Humans are meant to feel the whole spectrum of emotions.

The problem is, we don’t have great examples for dealing with negative emotions, so we bottle them up or avoid feeling uncomfortable feelings.

But those feelings don’t go away, they just get swept under the rug, and we experience them as muscle tension, unease and anxiety.

Muscle tension is often a symptom of deeper emotional or mental tension. And the only way it’s going to ease is if we address it at the source.

Reducing mental and emotional stress requires us to slow down and connect with ourselves to feel what’s going on.

Once we’re honest with how we’re feeling, we can use movement to express and release the stored emotion.

Learning to feel and process our emotions is what yoga teaches us.

Yes, you will stretch your shoulders and tight back, but if you practice yoga regularly, you will also learn to calm the stress response and deal with your emotions on the mat.

It’s common for people to get in a rage at yoga or even shed a few tears.

These are examples of yoga’s unique ability to process old emotions through the body. And once these emotions have come to the surface to be felt, they’re released. And we feel clearer, lighter and calmer.

But this process takes time and practice. If we’ve been bottling up our emotional stress all our lives, it’s going to take more than a few yoga classes to release it.

That’s why yoga is a practice. And the people who practise regularly are the ones who benefit the most.

One yoga class here and there is fun. A few classes each week will help you to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.

And now it’s even more affordable to commit to a regular yoga practice. Our Basic Membership offers 2 classes each week for the price of a single class. Best of all, you can cancel anytime.