Eckhart Tolle explains beautifully that the pose is not a yoga posture until it becomes uncomfortable. This I have found to be very true and like many I had my resistance to this notion at first, but like I was reminded just the other day learning is painful until it has been learnt and when one becomes familiar and comfortable with what they have learnt it is no longer painful or uncomfortable.
What is then being suggested is that at the point of the yoga posture becoming uncomfortable a student is then beginning the beautiful journey of learning and because we are talking about yoga we are talking about self discovery to.
Why is it uncomfortable discovering YOU? Well your going to have to practice to find out the real answer to that question, but the key is not to get caught up in your concept of uncomfortable and painful and instead let go of your analytical mind for a moment and surrender to the experiences that you are having whilst practicing.
Simple but not easy, it’s simple to practice, but its not easy to let go of the internal chatter and that internal chatter can and often does get in the way of a regular practice, when we stop practicing due to the uncomfortable nature of our practice we loose the very essence of why we begun a practice in the first place.
I was curious and I have continued to be so and this has guided me well through my practice because rather than running away from the uncomfortable elements of practice I was curious what would happen if I persevered and carried on.
The first thing to note here, is that you soon realise the ego can get very inflated by forcing your way through an uncomfortable posture, which you come through the other side thinking you have mastered, but have actually only just begun to play with, if you continue to force your way through your practice eventually you will burn out and give up, you can only force something for so long before it gives way and this gives birth to the profound nature of surrender.
When a student allows themselves to be comfortable with the uncomfortable true transformation and growth becomes possible because you are no longer forcing anything, you are no longer trying to escape anything (when forcing you are trying to hold on until the end) when you surrender you simply accept the nature of existence in that moment, the comfortable and uncomfortable and if you truly surrender then even duality dissolves and all thats left IS, but lets stay with duality and focus on accepting both comfortable and uncomfortable for now.
To get to this level of acceptance and surrender a student must master observation, as an observer you can honestly view your reactions free from judgement and you can notice the sensations of force and the sensation of surrender when in an uncomfortable posture. When you practice you can ask yourself how does it feel to accept myself in this posture right now? If your patient with your practice the answer will come, if you will the answer to arrive you will not be paying attention when it does, hence you are an observer and a creator in the practice, but absolute knowing does not come from thought alone.
Like I said the true learning lies in the practice, Sri K Patthabi Jois once said ‘do your practice and all is coming.’ Practice now in the realms of the uncomfortable and let go, surrender to the experience free from attachment or expectation and be as curious about the journey as possible, willing yourself to be an honest observer of your practice.
I am personally very passionate about this exploration because once you transfer this way of practicing from the Yoga studio and into your everyday life true magic, transformation and growth happens. The Yoga studio is only a training centre, your life is where you apply your tools you have trained on in the studio.
To you all in great health