Steeling against yesterday’s pain

“Pain motivates us to withdraw from damaging or potentially damaging situations, protect the damaged body part while it heals, and avoid those situations in the future.” Wikipedia

How often is it that we steel ourselves – physically, mentally, emotionally – to protect against a previous pain?  A perception that because last time  pain was experienced, it will be the same this time, in this instance.  Projecting the past onto the future – one eye in each direction.  Hoping to prevent any suffering of self.  The tensing, the steeling makes us feel strong – without it, fear of pain, vunerability, surfaces. 

We all know that each class is different – different energy, different body.  So, to go into class tense, protecing against pain that may not occur will limit the body, indeed limit the healing to be gained from the yoga.  Of course, paying attention to the body and what it can do at any given moment is very important.  Tune in and back off when the body says to – this is the body-mind connection in action.  Be strong by being vunerable, by releasing the tension and relaxing into the posture.  Breathe deeply. 

In life, we often steel ourselves against future pain, all based on past experience, our past pain.  With this approach, we cheat ourselves out of the actual experience.  With life, we don’t KNOW that a scenario will produce pain.  We predict, we project and then we protect, suiting up in armour against the imagined foe of pain.  We fear. 

Perhaps instead we should pay attention to the moment; tune into what is going on now, the experience, the feeling.  Be strong by being vunerable, releasing the fear and relaxing.  Breathe deeply.

Relaxing into the moment. 

Relax into life.

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6 Comments

Filed under Bikram 101

6 responses to “Steeling against yesterday’s pain

  1. That’s a great question, Lynx! I hadn’t thought of it that way. My thought is that we’re always protecting against ourselves from SOMETHING–it’s an endless struggle to let it go. But I think that you’re right. We have to actively pursue letting down the armor. I love it!

  2. I really needed this post during my first 30 days. I got to the point where I was crazy with fear going into that room, where I expected the agony and I tried to protect myself, probably making it worse. When I finally relaxed into it and accepted my fate it started to let up and then was gone. Insightful post my friend!

  3. Of course this apply to all of life. But I think this is the issue people have with Camel. You expect pain so you tense up and the tense muscles causes pain. The never ending story. Fix camel and your a long way along the path of letting go in life in general.

    • I agree about camel. People are quite afraid of camel – mentally more than physically – and once they embrace it, they get so much out of it. And by extention and extrapolation, out of life.

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