Oct 202011

First of all, it’s Today with a capital T. Because there is no other today. It’s only Today. This is it.

Okay. So.

Sometimes during yoga practice — whether in a class or doing your private practice — you will move into a pose that is very uncomfortable. Not painful. Uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. That is, you are feeling discomfort. This is different from pain. Pain means you should adjust your position; something is not aligned, or is strained, or is over-worked and will be injured if you do not change position. But discomfort — that is, being uncomfortable — is different. 

Being uncomfortable, we have a choice. We can adjust the pose and move into a position that is more comfortable, more sustainable for right now, just to get through to the next pose.


Or, we can stay in the uncomfortable pose and give it time. Breathe deeply. Focus. Discomfort is not pain. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. Discomfort is an indicator that we have growing to do, that there is something to move into, space to grow. After 3 to 5 breaths, that uncomfortable position may become less so. After 5-10 breaths it can feel like a different pose altogether. And after more than 10 breaths you may discover that the pose becomes comfortable. 


Or, maybe after 3-5 breaths today it still feels uncomfortable, but you come out of the pose and realize, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” And then you do the pose again tomorrow — still uncomfortable, but after another 3-5 breaths, it’s less uncomfortable. And, 3-5 breaths the next day in the same pose, and the next day, and the next day, and the next, and so on. Until eventually, the pose is not uncomfortable at all. Perhaps it is not relaxing — that will take even more time — but simply not uncomfortable. 

What else in my life is uncomfortable?

Do I adjust uncomfortable situations so they are more comfortable and more sustainable for right now, so that I can just get through?


Or, do I stay in the uncomfortable situation and just give it time? Am I breathing deeply, focusing, and reminding myself that discomfort is not pain, that there is growing to do, something to move into? 

don’t hold your breath by Mike_tn, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  Mike_tn 

  One Response to “Today’s insight: discomfort”

  1. Thanks. I needed to think about this.

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