Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Comfortably Numb

Sometimes yoga just hurts. Like last week for instance. Or any other time I attempt it. Ha! Recently, I was attempting to hold boat pose. It's supposed to look like this:

You can also do modified boat, not as hard, still tough:

Or you can rock out boat pose like I do:

Anyways, my core, as I have previously stated is shot these days. I bring ZERO core strength to the table. I had run almost 4 miles and then went to a hot yoga express class. As we were attempting boat, the familiar burn started up. And then for the first time ever, I started shaking. Literally, my entire torso was just shaking. Hard. Like a leaf. I could barely hear or see anything as I was in so much pain and shaking trying to hold anything resembling boat.

The teacher, Jordan, who always says mindful and thought provoking things calmly states "it could be worse, you could feel nothing." I am pretty sure she was speaking directly to me.  She said this and I just started giggling. But I bit down and held it for a little longer. I know that if you repeat the same action over and over eventually the body accepts it and that is the new normal. But sometimes, my body just resists the strength I am trying to give it through yoga.

But the thought...the idea that pain is not the worst enemy is so thought provoking. There are at least a million other analogies on point. "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." The saying "the opposite of love isn't hate but apathy." And a top 10 favorite movie quote "Pain is the body's way of telling you you're still alive."

In other words, the enemy isn't hate or anger or pain or misery. The enemy is nothingness, the absence of experience or emotion, the failure to know pain and loss. The experience of pain means you are growing, changing, getting stronger. Heartbreak means you've known love. Misery means you aware of what joy can be.

And so...I must continue forward and enjoy the pain. Embrace the suck. Accept my roly poly panda excuse for boat. Someday, I'll straighten my legs and let go with my hands.

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