November 20, 2010

Yoga Sutra

"Aversion is that which dwells on pain."
From the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
To me this means that what is painful to us we try to escape, to avoid, to runaway from.  We need to try to confront what is painful.  To try to work through the pain, whether it be physical or emotional. 

In my first 30 day challenge, my lower back became incredibly painful.  I remember being nearly in tears on my mat.  I was angry at the yoga because I thought the yoga was supposed to help my back, not hurt it.  After class I spoke to my teacher and he said that I needed to keep coming - that I needed to work with that pain.  I listened to his advice and within a week my back had returned to normal - more than likely it was stronger than it had been before.  Now, when my back twinges, I try to look at this as a sign that I am healing - that my back is balancing itself out - that my muscles are getting stronger and shifting because they no longer have to compensate.

The instructors in Bikram yoga often talk about how pain is good.  An asana should hurt, it should challenge us.  I have read that Bikram, himself, believes that in our Western culture we look for easy fixes - we want that magic pill.  To fix our backs, to help us lose weight, to keep us up all night to study for that exam.  There is no denying that we have all wanted that pill at one point in our lives.  But things that are hard teach us, help us grow, heal us.  So confront your pain next time you are in class.  Be aware of your pain.  Know the difference between excruciating pain and pain that you just don't want to deal with.  Try to deal with it.  And know that I will be in my yoga studio in Victoria trying to confront my pain.


Lala said...

if there was a 'like' button for this post, i'd click on it many times.

ps, your new layout is cool!

Happy weekend!

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these hatha yoga books?