Yoga Diaries: Check In and Adjust
Recently I’ve noticed my reluctance to adjust. As someone with a fair amount of tightness in the body, it is not uncommon that I find myself uncomfortable in a pose while on my mat. I’m not referring to the kind of discomfort that is productive – the kind that signals that I am challenging my muscles through strengthening and/or stretching. It’s the kind of minor discomfort that distracts me from actively focusing my energy where it should be. It’s the tightness that I feel in my shoulders when I pull my arms too close together in savasana. It’s the tension that I get in my neck when when looking up towards my fingertips in triangle pose. It’s the little things that I could easily fix if I took the time to adjust.
Clearly I notice these discomforts. I’ve noticed them for a while. But it’s only recently that I’ve noticed how often I ignore them. “We won’t be in this pose too long,” I think. “I’ll just push through.” I’ve begun to think about my reluctance to adjusting and if/how this tendency shows up for me off of the mat.
How often do I find myself in an uncomfortable situation – a situation where I am clearly unhappy in some way – and rather than respond to it, I simply wait it out? What are the consequences of this and perhaps more importantly, why am I so inclined to ignore my own unhappiness?
When I think about this in a larger life context, I realize how important it is to not only check-in, but to actually respond accordingly. While I have spent years training myself to check in with myself through my yoga and meditation practices, I now have to push myself to actually do something based on the knowledge that this introspection yields.
Given where I am in life – 3 years into a 5-7 year degree, unsure of both what I’m seeking professionally and what opportunities exist – I realize how crucial is it for me to adjust. At this stage of my life, I am making decisions about where I want to go in this world and what I want my life to be like. I am setting the foundation upon which I will begin to build my dreams. It is more important than ever that I better learn what makes me happy and what causes me suffering in order to effectively design my path to contentment.
I cannot continue to acknowledge my suffering – no matter how seemingly insignificant- and be passive. While I may not always be able to immediately alleviate my discomfort in its entirety, attempting is of the utmost importance for it is through these attempts that we grow into ourselves and bring our dreams to fruition.