Discomfort vs. Suffering (Yoga Challenge: Day 23)

There is no suffering in yoga.

Today our instructor brought our attention to the fine line between discomfort and pain. I had never fully understood the difference until today. Discomfort is good for us, to a certain extent. It opens up new possibilities in our bodies and in our minds. Yoga shouldn’t cause pain; it should only reveal the tightness, inflexibility and old injuries that are already there. The same thing goes for our emotional and mental state. Yoga has this way of unearthing things we buried long ago, whether we were aware of it or not.

This yoga challenge has peeled away all the layers for me and allowed me to identify which areas I need to work on the most, in my body and in my mind and spirit. I am sure there are more, and I’ll discover them soon enough. The important thing here is to embrace the discomfort instead of running from it. To ignore it or brush it under the carpet will only make it harder to deal with later.

Lesson from Day 23

Now, I’ll go back to where I started this post. There is no suffering in yoga. When we come to our mats, we are there to heal, find peace and overcome fears. Today a woman in class was trying a Tripod headstand and fell over each time with a hard, dramatic ‘slap’ on the floor. She didn’t hurt herself, most importantly, but by falling over she actually did herself a favour. She allowed herself to try. Eventually, she’ll stick it.

And then new work begins.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.



4 thoughts on “Discomfort vs. Suffering (Yoga Challenge: Day 23)

  1. elvicious says:

    Kind of an amazing realisation, isn’t it? Opening up to new possibilities will cause some discomfort. Keep breathing. Great post, thanks for sharing.

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