The Kindest Challenge
A friend recently asked me, ‘how do we challenge ourselves yet remain kind?’ In her yoga practice she’s wanting to go deeper into postures, but not wanting to be hard on herself in the process. Isn’t this exactly what yoga is? A process? It is a process that shows us realities about ourselves that we’ve long avoided, insecurities we’ve tried to bulldoze through, and stillness that we’ve needed to blot out.
The challenge of yoga for me is the process of resistance, specifically the asanas (postures) that bring up my perfectionist edge, my kid fears of being a major disappointment, and my compulsion to run away when life gets hard. Yoga is hard, certain postures are inhuman, and meditation is just too damn quiet, but if you go to these places, I guarantee this is where you’ll meet your challenge, your edge.
Yoga calls forth presence, not perfection. Often the hardest part of my yoga is just showing up, quite literally bringing myself to the mat. [TWEET THIS] This isn’t because I don’t want to be there. I love yoga, that isn’t the point. Resistance is real, it meets you at your greatest potential and at the epicenter of your desire. [TWEET THIS] Where you find resistance, you find your purpose and your opportunity for that challenge you’ve been looking for.
In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes, ‘The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.’
The key thing to remember in a challenge is that everyone’s edge is different. Perhaps for you, a faster yoga flow, more emphasis on balancing postures, or a lengthy savasana. Whatever that edge is note the resistance when it rises up, linger in it and feel the emotions it calls in you. You’ll want to run away. That’s OK. Your goal is to meet that resistance, say hello, and pass right on by with a smile. [TWEET THIS] This is your challenge, the kindest challenge-to just show up, be there with yourself, your breath, and whatever movement your have to offer the day.
How has resistance shown up in your life today? What was your response?
Was there room for kindness?