Breaking the Cycle With Yin Yoga:Suppressed Emotions and Coffee Addiction

Annie Au | E-RYT 500

Everything and anything we do in this world takes energy. That includes our effort to suppress difficult emotions.

When we can't release overwhelming emotions, we utilize our vital energy (Qi) through the excessive release of the hormone cortisol to contain them inwardly. Overtime, we exhaust our adrenal function and reach for energy boosting drinks like coffee to help sustain our day-to-day lives. 

Here we will delve into the detrimental effects of suppressing emotions and its potential link to coffee addiction. Understanding this cycle can empower us to support ourselves and loved ones to break free from these damaging patterns and fostering true emotional well-being.

The Suppression of Emotions:

Life can be overwhelming, and when faced with difficult experiences, many individuals find it easier to suppress their emotions than confront them. The desire to appear strong and unaffected becomes a mask that hides their true feelings. However, this emotional suppression creates an inner turmoil that often goes unnoticed until it manifests in physical and psychological distress.

Whether positive or negative, human emotions are essential signals from our bodies that inform us about our needs and experiences. Suppressing them denies us the opportunity to process and learn from these feelings, leading to unresolved trauma and heightened stress levels. As the suppressed emotions continues to build up, they may inadvertently pave the way for other harmful coping mechanisms, including addiction.

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The Caffeine Connection:

One of the most common forms of addiction we encounter is an addiction to coffee. With its energizing effects, coffee becomes a quick fix to counteract feelings of fatigue and low energy resulting from suppressed emotions. The stimulant properties of caffeine provide a temporary boost, giving individuals a false sense of productivity and temporarily alleviating emotional discomfort.

However, this coffee-induced energy surge is short-lived, often leading to a crash that leaves individuals feeling depleted and craving another cup. This addictive cycle can become a dangerous coping mechanism, as the emotional issues remain unresolved while reliance on coffee intensifies.

The Impact on the Somatic Experience:

Our bodies are intricately connected to our emotions and can serve as a vessel for storing unresolved trauma. The cycle of suppressing emotions and turning to coffee as a crutch can deeply affect the somatic experience. Chronic caffeine consumption can exacerbate stress and anxiety, further exacerbating the cycle of emotional suppression.

In the long term, individuals may find it increasingly challenging to identify and process emotions effectively. This cycle can disrupt the mind-body connection, leading to chronic tension, sleep disturbances, and gastrointestinal issues. The somatic experience becomes further burdened as the body fails to release the emotional baggage.

Breaking Free from the Cycle With Yin Yoga:

As yin yoga teachers, we can help our students break free from the damaging cycle of suppressed emotions and coffee addiction. Since yin yoga is a somatic practice, its gentle approach is widely accessible for individuals of all levels. Here are a few ways yin yoga can help: 

  • Encourage emotional connection: Yin yoga creates a safe space to connect with your emotions. Through self-connection, you can then slowly express your feelings without any judgment. 

  • Energy balance: Different yin yoga poses yield different impacts on our body and psyche. When we feel overwhelmed, gentle forward folds like Caterpillar can help steady the mind. Conversely, when we feel depressed, we can practice heart opening postures to restore the sympathetic energy.

  • Mindful consumption: Yin yoga increases our mindfulness. When we stop the cycle of caffeine dependency, you can then choose to enjoy a cup of coffee by will. Alternatively, you can opt for non-caffeinated beverages such as herbal tea without the impulse to reach for coffee instead.

Recognizing the connection between suppressed emotions and coffee addiction empowers us to address these issues effectively. As yin yoga teachers, you can guide your students towards emotional expression, somatic practices, and mindfulness. We can support them in breaking free from this damaging cycle and embarking on a journey of true healing and emotional well-being. Remember, healing is a process, and with compassionate support, every individual can find a path to recovery.

Interested in learning about trauma recovery and yin yoga? I’ll be leading a 50hr Trauma-Informed Yin Yoga Online Teacher Training. Don’t miss out on this training on trauma physiology and sensitivity teaching. Click here for more information.

Annie Au


Annie is the founder of Soulful Yin Yoga, an exclusive trauma-informed Yin Yoga teacher training program that teaches trauma physiology and sensitivity teaching. Annie infuses Chinese meridians and yogic wisdom into her teachings offering a holistic healing in our modern lives. Learn more about her training here.