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Yin Yoga and the Magic of Being Uncomfortable

“When we are willing to stay even a moment with uncomfortable energy, we gradually learn not to fear it.” - Pema Chödrön

There are many lessons that I have learned from Yin Yoga and attending Yin Yoga classes, but one of the most important ones that continues to share her face with me is the ability and encouragement to sit with discomfort.

yoga teacher sitting outdoors meditating with mudra

Pema Chodron puts it perfectly:

“Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But for practitioners… feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”

I could venture to say that Yin Yoga exposes us to this challenge every single time we practice. As blissful and relaxing as it can feel at times, I am willing to wager that at least once per session we are confronted with discomfort in physical sensation, our thoughts, the amount of time we hold some poses, and even just the challenge of being with ourselves with very few distractions.

What this helps us do is 3 things:

  1. Lean into trust. Lean into knowing that our bodies are intelligent and will keep us safe, and that it is OK to be fully with ourselves.

  2. Breathe through uncomfortable situations. We will always be confronted with discomfort, but how can we move through it with ease and grace? How can we train our nervous system to relax and not react impulsively to these sensations? Yin Yoga helps us do this.

  3. Be receptive to what is on the other side of these challenges. We have all heard the saying that possibility or change lies on the other side of our comfort zone, and it is true. Uncomfortable moments lead us to change and growth! And what is life without growth?

I feel like all types of yoga can be themed around this concept, but Yin Yoga truly speaks to this aspect of our practice. In the kindest way: I wish you moments of discomfort and beautiful expansive growth from it all!

Do you want to practice Yin Yoga with me? Here is a class I posted on my YouTube channel. If you enjoy it, please subscribe to my channel and leave me a comment!

Have a beautiful day ◡̈.

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