It started with a podcast.
While listening to my friend's podcast, she said the words (or something along the lines)
"Yoga is meant to be confrontational." It gave me pause. "Wait," my mind inquired. "This thing I do that brings me so much joy and has practically saved my life... is meant to stir things up?" Immediately followed by the realization that, yes, of course it is. Consider that we are confronted on our yoga mats all the time. In chair pose, when we start to feel the burn in our legs and the heat building, in plank when we feel like we can't hold it another breath, 3 wheels in when we think our legs might fall off, in side angle when the teacher says "three more breaths," there are a myriad of moments and ways things are put in front of us when we step onto our rectangle of foam. When you come up against confrontation on your yoga mat, when something is staring you in the face that you'd rather not look at... what is your MO? Is it to run away? Fix your hair? Grab a drink of water? Push harder? Look around the room? Fix your clothes? What do you do to hit the release valve... to try and not have to feel or see what's right in front of you? We all have something we do when things get uncomfortable. If you're not sure.... look next time you are on your mat. Most of you know, when we get uncomfortable is where the magic happens. Growth doesn't happen in the comfort zone. Discomfort gives us the opportunity to be in choice and to create transformation. It gives us the chance to see the thing that makes us uneasy and to choose to stay. When I say stay, I don't mean "muscle through it," or "grin and bear it," or "get through it." I mean stay as in stay and sit with and possibly even THRIVE within the uncomfortable thing. When we can stay long enough there's a shift that happens in our bodies, kind of like a release valve, a softening... that we can then move into. Baron calls it "receiving the pose." I'm seeing it in my cold immersion practice. About 35 seconds into my minute long cold shower there's this pause that happens and I can actually feel my body relax. In that moment, I can choose to lean into and stay in the discomfort (cause let's face it, cold showers will never be comfortable) OR I can choose to go back to dread and panic and "ugh this is awful." I can tell you they both suck, AND one gives me a completely different outcome than the other. Transformation has the word transform in it. Transform is literally defined as "make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of."
If we want to transform our lives, to live differently than we are now, to have a breakthrough and the freedom that comes with it, we have to be willing to sit in the discomfort required to transform. We have to be willing to change in form, appearance and character. One of my teachers says, "We never know when transformation is going to hit us, and that's the beauty. We have no idea. I could be 2 seconds away and if we back out in those last 2 seconds, we miss the opportunity to see what's on the other side." So, if you're like me and you're ready for a transformation, if you're ready for growth, buckle up. Be prepared to sit with some not so easy things. And remember you get to choose how you take on the work. As always, it starts on your yoga mat. Work there to sit with discomfort and know it is changing you in all facets of your life. And when you're confronted with anger in traffic, when your partner or a friend lovingly calls you out, you'll have some tools in your back pocket to help get you through. I'm teaching a bunch this week before I take a break next week to see my brother in Arizona... so come and get it! Can't wait to see you.