On day 3 of the infamous jazz festival in Detroit, I found myself pondering about the state of being uncomfortable. This is as I’m sitting on a cold, hard metal bench listening to some very good but extremely loud and piercing jazz. It’s amazing that once you’ve established a discomfort with something, it can be so extremely difficult to focus on anything else. This was an excellent reminder for me to sit with what is in my yoga practice.
In some of my yoga classes, I’ve found there are some students that are surprised at their discomfort in “sitting” in some of the asanas (poses). Isn’t yoga supposed to be all feel-good and relaxing? Well, not exactly. This is where I address one of the most common issues people have (including myself)…..
For most of us, any pose that stretch the hamstrings, hip flexors and the lower back can put us in a throes of yucky discomfort. We, as Westerners in general, are very tight and immobile in these areas. Those three parts of the body are all connected, and they all are effected exponentially by how much we sit. The fact is, our mostly sedentary lives are slowly killing us. Combine that with the fact that we have a “go-go-go” mentality of constantly doing something and we are a highly stressed society, making heart disease a high risk– it’s a recipe for disaster. So what should we do? Isn’t the goal in life to be comfortable? Well, not exactly.
As long as you aren’t feeling pain, a bit of discomfort mentally and physically is necessary to move forward in your practice. We must be uncomfortable at times to eventually find that sweet spot. This is true in life and in yoga. So the next time you are in pigeon, or dragon, or plank, or whatever pose it is that drives you a little crazy while holding it~ take a moment to breathe, and know that the discomfort will eventually pass.