Ask the Expert: Dealing with Frustration in Yoga Class

Our expert weighs in on observing your feelings and letting them go—even when your practice or class gets irritating.

Answers to your questions about health, nutrition, anatomy, and more.

Sometimes in yoga class I grow irritated—especially when a teacher doesn’t follow a sequence I’m used to. What can I do about it?

Practicing yoga isn’t causing your frustrated emotions, but it may bring existing emotions to the surface. The next time this happens, don’t try to suppress those feelings, but consider this an opportunity for self-inquiry. Bring attention to your breathing and the sensations throughout your body. Observe the emotion you’re feeling, and think about why you’re feeling it. Then, identify the emotion again but let go of the “why.” Just allow this feeling to be what it is, as you are experiencing it. Settle into the present moment, becoming aware of your heart and your entire body.

—Bija Bennett
Yoga therapist and author of Emotional Yoga: How the Body Can Heal the Mind

See also Emotions in Motion