I know, I know: enough with the yoga lessons already. But it's having such a profound impact on my life that I just can't help but share.
Balancing poses have been tough for me lately, because I get so caught up in the intensity in my standing leg that I start to waver. I focus on the locking of my knee (stop it!) and the discomfort in the arch of my foot (that might be a bad sign).
So this week, I tried something new: I focused on the flex of my non-standing heel. I focused on the lift of my knee and strength in the thigh of the leg that I've previously ignored.
Turns out, focusing on finding strength in the rest of my body and not the pain or discomfort has started making some big transformations in my practice. And that's a lesson I desperately need to learn in my non-yoga life, too.
Our focus on pain
Do you do this, too? I become so laser-focused on the area of my life that is the most tumultuous and ignore the strength in the other areas of my life. Eventually, I start seeing everything in my life through the lens of the pain I feel about one aspect of it.
I think it's human nature to identify stressors or pain points and react. What our bodies don't know, though, is that there can be so much joy outside of that particular pain.
For me, one of those pains has been about not knowing what I want to be when I "grow up" (a pain that I've had since...well, since I grew up). It's not a happy place.
Shifting the focus to bring back some balance
I'm writing this to myself as much as to you, dear internet: maybe it's time to call our awareness up and away from the things that are causing us pain and look at some of the strength we still have left.
I've been self-demolishing for weeks now, and I think that maybe it could help to remind myself of what's going well. For example, today I lifted myself off the ground from a seated position with my arms. Last week, I did a full bridge backbend for the first time I can remember.
What about you? Surely, there's at least one thing you can shift your focus to.
Some prompts to get you started
I know myself well enough to know that I'd be the first among us to say "but nothing is going right at all." In all honesty, I've been saying that for a few weeks.
I'm sure that somehow, somewhere you can find a little piece of strength to hold onto during your worst days. Try looking in these places:
- Romantic relationships
- Home (is it clean? Do you have a home? Do you like your city?)
- Physical health
- New experiences
- Good habits
- Goal achievements
- Financial status
- Mental health
- Emotional health
All of these can be places where things fall apart, but they can also be where you might find yourself thriving. Give it a go.
Is there something in this list (or in another are of your life) that you can find strength in?