Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Finding Joy in the Uncomfortable

Some things that bring me joy and cause to celebrate are live music, good friends, comfortable summer days and awesome sunsets.  I got to experience all of these things this past weekend at the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA.  A nice sized festival for this part of the state that usually has a couple of larger acts (Brandi Carlile was my big draw), some lesser known acts and a good number of local acts.  It is really a lovely festival and the most unique part is that there are hot air balloons launched both days, which even by itself is quite remarkable to see.

Yesterday in yoga my teacher spoke of this time of year, summer, being that time to find joy and moments of celebration and then she proceeded to tell us that we would focusing part of our practice on the pose Vasisthasana and I did not feel like celebrating that or felt any sense of joy as it relates to that particular pose.  I do not like this pose, I am uncomfortable and it feels like everything hurts.  It is a pose that I can not fully do and that is not the part that bothers me, it is just that I am really uncomfortable in it.  There are other poses (like handstand) that I can not do and it frustrates me because I want to but this particular pose I really have no strong desire to do.  
I know it does not really look that difficult, but for me it is!

Damn it, there is a lesson to learn here of course.  Sometimes in life things are uncomfortable, sometimes we do not want to do them, and sometimes we do not need to to do them. But pushing through the uncomfortable allows us to emerge changed and often times for the better. I pushed through in class, never compromising my safety but definitely pushing past my comfort zone and I did get deeper into this pose then I have before.  This same teacher is teaching a more advanced class later this week which I am considering going to with the full knowledge that this pose will again be a strong focus of the class.  I am not a glutton for punishment but a believer that if we can find moments of joy and celebration in the times that are uncomfortable in our life we will be all the better.  There are things in life that we may not look forward to; a long car ride in traffic, a meeting that can not be avoided, a visit with relatives, a new workout routine. How do we prepare ourselves for these uncomfortable and seemingly unpleasant moments? How do we celebrate them, find joy in them and then even start to look forward to them?

If I can find joy in Vashisthasana then I can pretty much find joy in anything! So here's to finding joy in the uncomfortable!

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