I’ve written about my achilles injury on the blog before, but for the purpose of this post all you need to know is that I re-aggravated it, and I’ve been going to a lot of restorative and gentle yoga classes lately because of it. It’s kind of a neat “assignment” focusing on these classes that I usually label too “easy” or just “stretching.”
That said, I had an interesting experience in class on Tuesday evening this week at Down Under Yoga where I practice. The teacher got us in this really INTENSE form of a hip opener. Either because a student needed her (or for dramatic effect) she didn’t talk us through the hold either. It felt like she left us there hanging, literally. Torture. Every muscle in my body was twitching trying to get out of it sooner…fighting to shift my weight to make even one second of it less uncomfortable.
And then the teacher engaged with us again, and she said I want you to remember how you feel right now and think about the distinction between pain and discomfort. When we feel discomfort, we’re allowing ourselves to get uncomfortable so we can grow. When we’re experiencing pain (a sharp, searing sensation) it’s time to back off and stop pushing. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear in that moment. It fired me up because it applies to every area of my life. Be willing to get uncomfortable and you’ll grow.
I’ll leave you with this: In vinyasa yoga, we have to learn how to hold a pose when the mind is screaming that we can’t, that we’re not strong and that’s it’s too much. We have to keep moving through sun salutes when we’re tired, worn out and want to crawl into childs pose.
In practices that are more yin, we get into uncomfortable positions and have to stay there for awhile in order to help the body let go of tension. It is NOT always “easy” and sometimes the strongest thing we can do is to practice letting go.
1.) This Daily Love video “How to love after you’ve been hurt” is worth a watch if the topic feels relevant to you. It’s based on this premise from Brene Brown, “When you numb your pain, you numb your joy.” I’ve felt this blog stay with me this week and heard myself ask the question, “How can you have courage here?” It’s super empowering.
2.) Are you following me on Instagram? I would love to have you join me there @Kisforkale
3.) My current music obsession is Sam Smith – and not just “Stay with Me” since that one is quickly getting overplayed.