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Challenge = requirement for growth

  • December 2015
  • Yoga Insight
  • By Kristen Mansch

As in life, growth in practice happens through challenge. In the rough places. No mud, no lotus. We grow and learn the most through postures we want to get out of as soon as we get in. Postures that bring up strong emotions such as fear, impatience, even panic. If one stays with it and learns to slow the breath and steady the mind, new levels of strength are born. Yes, the obvious physical, but also a more powerful, deep, and lasting kind... inner strength.

Challenge is simply a requirement for growth. Nothing more.

Begin to view challenge as simply a requirement for growth. Nothing more. Then, challenge begins to lose its negativity. One can see it for what it is, maybe see beyond it. Learn to love the asanas that challenge you most because they are opening you, strengthening you, and growing you. As ironic as it may sound, be most grateful for them.

I am grateful for the process of continuous learning and growing.

Before I practiced Ashtanga Yoga daily, I practiced my own yoga sequences. I realize now I often repeated postures that felt good and stayed away from ones that did not, for years. The method of Ashtanga asks you to take every posture in the series, ones that feel good and ones that bring up unsteadiness or weakness. I appreciate and am grateful for this method because I am continually learning and growing.

The process reminds me of how a bumblebee needs to flap its wings to break open its cacoon. If someone were to break the cacoon for the bee, the wings would not be strengthened enough to survive. In the same way, it is the continuous process of taking practice that is healing... is transformation... is growth. Keep practicing. :)