For someone who said only last month that I don’t like meditating, my second day at the Berlin Yoga Conference sure has been full of meditation heavy classes. But that’s a big part of what I love about yoga conferences: they allow you to step out of your comfort zone. And boy did I step out of my comfort zone…especially when I found out about storing your emotions in your hips.

After having a full day of meditation-heavy classes, I’ve realized that my practice has been slowing down over the past year or so. I used to think that in order “really” be practicing yoga, I had to be doing the hardest, sweatiest, most challenging class I could find. As much as I loved practicing Yin Yoga, I didn’t think I was actually putting in the work when I practiced Yin or Restorative Yoga.

Over the past year or so, though, my favorite times on my mat have been when I’ve been practicing gentler, slower, much-less-sweaty yoga. I’m not much for practicing headstands and Crow Poses as much anymore (although of course, it’s still great from time to time), and have spent much of the last year focusing on my Yin practice.

And man, I’ve definitely learned that you’re still putting in the work when you practice a slower form of yoga.

Storing your emotions in your hips

One of the standout classes for me today at the second day of the Berlin Yoga Conference was Olivia Tüscher‘s Hatha Raja Flow: a Journey Through the Chakras II. This class in particular helped to open my eyes to the huge amount of work that goes into even the gentlest yoga classes.

In this workshop, we spent almost an hour working on Pranayama exercises, followed by about 20 minutes focusing solely on Double Pigeon Pose, and finishing up with a nidra. It was exactly the class I needed in that moment to prove to myself that meditation is very important, and that slower yoga classes definitely don’t mean easier.

In particular, spending so long on Double Pigeon pose really helped to bring home the idea that your emotions are stored in your hips. It’s a phrase I’ve heard again and again, and have said regularly in my yoga classes. But I never really realized how true it was until I spent 20 minutes in a hip opener, and started feeling a lot of emotions that I didn’t know I was feeling.

If you ever need a good emotional release, I can definitely recommend a good old hip opener.