I love Pain. When I look back, every great progress in my life happened, after experiencing some kind of pain. The way I see it, being physical or emotional, it is that state, when you’re out of your comfort zone. Of course there are many levels, but as science has proven- we are not suffering in the current moment. Our mind is afraid that the pain will continue and most of all, that it might get stronger. So, for me, Pain is Chaos- your mind wandering, causing panic, your breath accelerating, losing rhythm, us, trying to quickly escape the situation.
Classical yoga can be very easy, if you want to just move around, do some breathing, stretch, meditate etc.
Ashtanga yoga is a totally different deal. Here you reach your physical and mental limits. Throughout the years I have learned so much, developed myself physically and emotionally. Progress came from overcoming pain. So, for me, there turned out to be four essential parts in the process.
First you make your body strong. In my classes many people ask me, whether I feel pain in some asanas. Of course I do. I encourage people to find their own limitations, but in some level, to reach out of their comfort zone. In time, I have found my level of physical pain, to which I can push my body, and after each practice I try to push it a bit more. So the first element,for me, is WILL power.
The second thing you should focus on is your BREATH. Yoga helps you control it in each asana. Learning to breathe properly in difficult and discomforting poses, teaches you to implement it in your daily life. Because emotions, mental and physical states are all related. It is not by chance, that you often get sick, after experiencing some emotional problems. So the pain you feel, while exercising is similar to the pain you feel, if someone hurts you, for example. When you learn how to deal with number one, it’s easier to cope with number two and so on…
The third element is your FOCUS. Relaxing and controlling your mind, usually, happens automatically, when you control your breath. But Yoga teaches you to focus your gaze in every asana. This helps us train our mind and control our sub consciousness. The goal is no to try to escape the present, but accept it for what it is.The thing I mentioned in the beginning, about our mind focusing on the pain, well you learn how to take it somewhere else. This type of autogenic training just helps us not to fall down the rabbit hole of depression and negativity.
The fourth thing is very individual. It concerns your expectations from yourself. There is a study, that athletes feel less pain, because they are focused on the results, of wanting to be better, to improve. So it is about upgrading yourself, becoming a BETTER YOU. This concerns your practice, mastering challenging asanas, and learning to let go, freeing yourself from ego, from negative emotions. So it works again both ways.
I love Pain. I am grateful for every moment, that made me physically stronger, wiser and precise in my decisions,in choosing the people around me, and in long terms way, way happier!
My kind of beautiful