As humans, we get attached— to things, to the people in our lives, to our routine. We create an expectation of how an event will unfold or how a relationship will grow, and when such expectations are not met we often feel duped, depressed or stressed as the unexpected occurs. It feels as if the rug is pulled from underneath us, and, at times, that sudden discomfort leads to reaction.
Yoga teaches us how to respond rather than react. The mind or ego might try to force us to go to our deepest place in a pose, but forcing can lead to resistance or injury. If we instead allow the breath to determine our depth, we instead softly lean into and ease around those sharp edges, rather than forcing them. Ultimately, this results in welcomed change and even the opportunity for evolution. When we resist change or discomfort, it can keep us rigid, unwilling, and closed off.
Brené Brown claims “Bravery means coming to terms with your emotional experience— even if it’s uncomfortable. When we give ourselves the opportunity to really recognize and sit with what is, it gives it permission to actually leave. How can we let go of something that we are unaware of that is there?” In yoga, we believe that the mind and body are connected. When we experience discomfort in the asana practice, we can give up OR we can observe the patterns of the body and mind and chose to mindfully breath through. Same goes for our experiences in life. We can give up, or run away, or become numb; OR we can chose to mindfully show up with prana, or life force energy, to maintain softness and strength in ANY situation.