You don’t need to move beyond your comfort zone.
That would be uncomfortable.
For progress to happen,
you just need to move your comfort zone.
There was a time way back when I would hear this a lot in yoga classes. “Push beyond your edge!” I never understood this. As a mountaineer, I’m pretty aware of the edges of things. I know that people don’t react well to moving beyond them.
But in yoga, we’d all dutifully listen, because that’s what we’re here to do. Listen to the teacher. And the next day someone (often the teacher) would have some sort of strap around their hamstring. Or a hurt wrist. Or they just wouldn’t make it back.
Worse, we were practicing something that wasn’t helpful.
We practiced listening to someone tell us
to do something that injures,
something that doesn’t feel right in my body.
Eventually, I realized that a great deal of what I was hearing in these yoga classes didn’t make much sense. We were told to wear turbans, or all our energy would topple out our heads. We were going to get headaches, because our nadis were overflowing. Really, that’s the reason? Or could it be that we were hyperventilating for an hour, while hearing about how my nadis are overloading with my divine goddess power.
It didn’t end there. One by one I walked through all the big places, East Coast, West Coast, Europe, India. Bikram told us to sweat it up, as our best detox ever! More headaches, this time from dehydration. Of course, sweat isn’t part of our detox system. You’ll figure that out if you go to med school, but not if you go to hot yoga. My tour continued. If you get Both feet behind your head, only then is your energy aligned to receive the transmission. And of course, you must achieve the Universal Sacred Alignment! Which comes only through shaktipat.
I was told this path wasn’t for everyone. I was part of a chosen few, selected for this special path to enlightenment. I was special! That felt good. I was told my friends wouldn’t understand. They had that part correct.
I got to see all this. And I got to see that it wasn’t working for people. People were getting hurt. Life wasn’t getting better. This wasn’t about connection. It felt more like a downward spiral into separateness.
But many kept listening, because it was all very complex. It kept people confused, thinking they weren’t good enough. Not good enough to understand, and not good enough to get it right. So they kept coming back. The message from the top was always “We have what you need, and you can’t get it for yourself. You have to go through us to get it.” Oh boy. Time for something different.
The psychological harm of tuning out
– following other people’s rules,
not believing you can get there yourself –
is much worse than physical injury.
The gain of tuning in
– following your own rules, making your own life –
is much greater than simply being able to pose better.
Nobody needs to move beyond their comfort zone. If you think something is dangerous – or simply doesn’t feel right to you – that’s great! It means you’re still feeling. You’re alive, and you’re listening. Your body is a great listening device. It generally tells you exactly what you need to know.
Explore you. Move easily around, in every direction you can move. Stay comfortable. When you approach challenge in an easygoing way, there is nothing to fear. Injury doesn’t happen here. And your comfort zone gradually expands to something much greater, as you get to know yourself, and bring all of you into harmony.
Have fun with this, making your own yoga, making your own life.
– by Mike
Want to play in your comfort zone?
It’s everything we do with our in-person courses,
right where you are.
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Yoga Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.