As a gifted teacher can so seemingly effortlessly do, they bring lessons into the yoga room that are about everything else other than yoga. They are talking about yoga (move like this, breathe like that, consider this in your body, notice that in your mind), but it’s about so much more. It’s simple, powerful. It’s not cheesy. It just makes good sense, and you can feel it in your bones.
My teacher friend brought that exact kind of magic to the vin-yin class I took from her this afternoon.
In the vinyasa (yang) portion of the class, we stretch and strengthen muscles through heat, movement, and breath. In the yin portion of the class, we strengthen joints, bones, and ligaments. How? How do we access those different systems of our bodies from one style to another? In yin, we add
We stay longer.
We allow more weight.
We. Give. It. Freaking. Time.
It’s not always fun, comfortable, or what we enjoy, but it most certainly is where the growth happens.
“God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds. Using time and pressure, He’s working on you, too!” ~Rick Warren
So, y’know, it just got me thinking, what things in my life might grow under a little more intentional pressure and with a little more mindful time?
Or, really, when I find myself in those moments that I want to run out of, or feel like it’s been long enough, what if I stayed with it?
What GREAT things come from time, and pressure?
What difficult conversations that could result in a new stage of growth might we have if we kept this concept in mind?
What careers changes might we make?
Workouts might we start anew?
Learning from others with different views than ours?
The list could go on, but it requires knowing the difference, too, between pain and pressure/discomfort, and danger versus safety. I’m not espousing the “suck it up, buttercup” mentality in order to learn and grow. I’m just sayin’, WHAT IF – in the situations where we can – we stayed put and stayed engaged a little longer, even when it’s uncomfortable to do so?
*Image taken by Julia Brown Meyer of Sarah Plummer Taylor while hiking near Lake Isabelle, CO in 2016.
*posted 2017 – If you’d like yet another reference to the benefits of time and pressure, please watch Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas’s TEDx talk, Bulletproofing the Psyche, because as she says “Pressure CAN create diamonds – there’s science behind making stress work for you.”