Pushing outside your comfort zone
I’m currently in the middle of an Instagram challenge with one of the yoga studios I teach at, and today’s challenge pose was natarajasana. The question asked was how does yoga push you outside of your comfort zone? What I love about this particular challenge is that it asks that we be open to sharing our own personal insights and learning’s, rather than just taking pretty pictures.
Today I spent some time pondering on how my yoga practice pushes me outside my comfort zone, and I really struggled to answer this one. There are poses I am challenged by, but in truth, I don’t actually feel as though the physical asana pushes me far outside my comfort zone…in fact, I actually feel it’s the opposite. In truth, I feel totally, 100% comfortable on my mat. It’s like coming home for me, back into my body, back into my breath. Even the days where I feel inflexible or tired or emotional, I still feel comfortable in a strange sort of way.
When I dived deeper into this question however, I realised it was the mental side of yoga that challenged me the most. Calming my mind down, staying focused and in the present moment, and not getting caught up in the stories or the drama off the mat; these are the things that still challenge me and push me outside of my comfort zone. We can easily get swept away by life, caught up in other people’s opinions and distracted by our responsibilities, and it’s easy to forget our true values. It’s easy to forget to honour ourselves, to maintain our truth and be authentic to ourselves.
As fluffy as that sounds, it’s really noticeable when a crisis hits. Mothers Day yesterday was really hard for me. Everywhere I looked and everything I heard reminded me of my own mum who passed away last year. I miss her every day but especially yesterday, and last night my grief was overwhelming. Upon reflection, I realised that the little things don’t matter. Whether you get the poses exactly right is not the point. Whether you can do arm balances or handstands misses the point entirely.
Yoga is ultimately about love. Sharing love, receiving love, and being love. Spreading love and support to friends and family and to the wider community. We don’t have to wait for a crisis to hit us before we share more love. So today, share love to someone, whether it’s your partner, your children, your yoga teacher, or a random on the street. The more love we feel, the more ok we are about being pushed out of our comfort zone. The more support we feel, the more we can take leaps of faith.