On the mat, you might think the comfort zone is a place where you can relax in your posture or a place where you can express with ease what you call your perfect pose. But is that really the place? On the flip side of this, your comfort zone may be a place of fear, a place of unknown territory, a place of resistance. Resistance to experience sensations and feel a little discomfort. I see so many students come to class, practice after practice and only begin to move body parts while they look around the room, glance at the clock, fix their hair, sip their water, and any other distraction they can get their mind on. How do I know this? I am guilty of this. It’s normal folks! However, begin to recognize how these distractions hold us or even push us into a comfort zone because we don’t want to face the reality of the present moment. Notice how often you fix your hair or sip your water the moment the teacher calls crow or chair pose or boat pose (my favorite pose to fidget around in 🙂 We immediately fall into this comfort zone that lets us escape that moment because we are unable or not wanting to deal with that stressor.
Well as the saying goes, “how you do anything is how you do everything.” Yes! how you fidget on our mat is probably a good reflection of how you fidget in your life and how often you escape the realities of life and fall into your comfort zone. Ask yourself how comfortable are you in your comfort zone? I would bet there are feelings of fear and doubt with some sprinkles of suffering in between. When we escape to the corners of what we think is a safe comfort zone, we harbor more fear and doubt thinking how would we survive if we step out of our comfort zone. The real question however is, “how will you survive if you stay in your comfort zone?” How will you grow? Why not express your pose deeply even if it doesn’t look pretty? Are you afraid to fall out of the pose? Are you afraid the teacher will laugh? Are you afraid to quit your stressful, unsatisfying job? Are you afraid to stand up for yourself and confront those who are stroking you the wrong way? How will you grow if you don’t step out of your so called safe zone and experience a little discomfort?
Go ahead and lunge deep! Feel your thighs burn a little. Feel your heart crack open a little. Stay with the sensation, breathe a little more, smile a little more and escape a little less.