D is for discomfort

I cried during yoga teacher training yesterday.

Before I started, every single yoga teacher I talked to told me it would happen at some point. I didn’t think they were lying, but I wasn’t really sure it would happen to me. I’m not a crier.

The thing is, it’s making me uncomfortable to write about it. This blog has always been my happy place. I have no problems writing about my emotions when they involve positive feelings or memories. Smiles, laughter, joy, love. I can write about those things easily. Writing about me crying and figuring out why I was crying? Something I usually avoid. I had no problem telling my mom and a friend about this, but that’s not the same as putting it out there for the whole world to see (well, the part of the world that reads my blog).

We were learning how to write out instructions to different poses, and I got overwhelmed. I felt like I was asking question after question, not getting the answer I needed. I realize that I got caught up in the moment and panicked a little, thinking I had to get it all right away. In that moment, it was too much for me and the tears just appeared.

Why am I writing about this if it causes me discomfort? We’ve all heard the saying “The magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone.” Mark, my teacher, challenged us to do something that makes us uncomfortable every day for a week. I feel resistant to this because I avoid things that make me uncomfortable. I don’t like them, so I stay away. I realize this must be true for most people, but I can only feel what emotions come up for me, and I’m not looking forward to it.

Am I hoping that something great happens in my life and the way I perceive people and situations after this? Yes, absolutely. Does a part of me think that all it’s going to do is make me uncomfortable for a week, then things will go back to the way they were? Yes, definitely.

All I can do is trust myself and believe that this will bring positive change. If I focus on the negatives, nothing good will come of it. So I’m going to try. I’m going to make myself uncomfortable and see where that leads me.

What makes you uncomfortable?

wherethemagichappens

Have I been the change?

When I started this 30 day challenge on September 1st, I was in it for the yoga. When I heard about a challenge happening at Pure Yoga Ottawa, my favourite studio, I jumped on the chance to participate. I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was more to it than doing yoga every day.

I received daily e-mails filled with motivational quotes and messages from Megan, the creator of this amazing challenge, videos and tips for at-home practice from Megan and Mike, another teacher. There were nutrition tips and delicious recipes. I discovered new ways to prepare old ingredients and new foods to try. There was information about holistic healing. This was new, and interesting to read about.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my body is tired and needs a rest from daily practice, at least for a while. However, my mind and spirit will miss the daily motivation and encouragement. For this, I am sad to see the challenge end.

This challenge coincided with going back to work. Last year, I found the back to school period to be very difficult. I felt like there was always something more to do. I never had enough time to do it all. Once I realized I couldn’t do it all, I relaxed and enjoyed my work a lot more. This year, I was afraid of falling into the same trap. I was happy to have a reason to leave work at a reasonable hour, to take some time for myself and to have a way to find peace every day.

I realized one of the things I love the most about yoga is the quiet moment that comes after giving all I’ve got. Taking child’s pose anytime feels good, but taking child’s pose after going through several flows, side planks and chair pose is bliss. I was thinking about this during class today, when Megan said something that struck a chord with me. She said The vinyasa of our practice mirrors the vinyasa of our lives.

During a class, I might feel happy, frustrated, proud, discouraged, tired, curious, scared and blissed out. I feel these same emotions during my daily life. I try to approach challenges in my practice with an open mind and lots of laughter. I am trying to do the same with the challenges in my life. This is the change I did not know I was looking for. So yes, to answer my own question, I think I have been the change.

Today was day 30. It was the last class. I went to Megan’s class, which was perfect, because I started this challenge with one of her classes and also because without her, there wouldn’t be a challenge. I was very proud of myself for seeing this through all the way to the end. I got all 30 stickers on the board! Yes, they’re all pink.

I was also very happy to do this class with Jacynthe and Dominique, who are both collegues and friends. We did this challenge together and it definitely contributed to the motivation to make it to class every day!

And finally, it was great to meet some of the other challengers. We have become a community, linked by our desire to be the change. Thanks so much Megan for giving us the chance to find the best in ourselves. Namaste.