I have been practicing Bikram Yoga for a little over a year now. If you don’t know what Bikram is, it’s a form of Hot Yoga – 105°F, 50% humidity, 90 minutes and a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Most of my friends and family think I’m crazy, but I seriously love it. I attend 4-5 classes per week and my body loves the heat. It allows it to open up and stretch in ways that have been inaccessible to me for a while now.
Inside me lives a competitive voice that absolutely HATES not being able to get into a pose and hold it. Yoga is about stretching yourself to get into a pose but never forcing it as you are typically healing from the inside out. So, I’m constantly in conversation with my competitive voice to do her best and know that in time she will have access to all the poses. Let’s just say it’s been a LONG year with that voice, but I’ve remained persistent.
Today I was standing in the “Standing separate leg head to knee pose” and I realized I was fully in the pose with my head touching my knee and hands extended to the toes. And the thought came to me…what happens when I push beyond the edge of what is comfortable? I realized that I have been practicing yoga where I was physically and mentally “safe” even though I was unable to fully access the poses. This practice kept me in a monkey mind of …“it’s not for me yet,” “I’m not as flexible as I use to be,” “this is where my body is and I have to accept it,” blah, blah, blah.
But something shifted at the one year mark and I realized I have been physically pushing and prodding the body gently past the edge of what was comfortable. Not to the point of physically hurting myself or pulling muscles, but, just an extension beyond where I was truly comfortable. I started trying new ways to access the poses, I got outside the rigid box of where I was playing. And in the past few weeks, it’s paid off! I have access to poses that have eluded me for over a year now.
So of course with this newfound success and the knowledge of pushing beyond what’s comfortable, it’s made me ask where else do I play safe? In my head I am constantly stretching and improving myself, but, how does that show up in my physical life? I have ideas of where I would like my life to be and what I want it to look like, but, have I been willing to truly step across the line of what’s comfortable to grow in any of those areas? Ah! More opportunity for “stretching.” One of the ways I’m going to stretch is by being vulnerable with you in my upcoming blog posts. I have been dealing with an emotional eater voice for years and I am going to introduce her to you. I don’t know where else I will stretch and grow, but the feeling of success that comes from finally achieving what I’ve set my mind to is worth whatever pains I have to go through to get there.
Let’s work together on your comfort zones! Where would you like to grow? How can I help?