We all know these inspirational quotes telling us to leave our so-called comfort zones in order to evolve our own being.
I partly agree to that, just partly.
In my experience it is more about the balance of stepping out of and slowly expanding our comfort zone at the same time.
How we perceive danger and react to it is highly determined by our state of mind. There will be days when we get frightened by challenges easily and others where we feel that nothing can stop us.
After all it is mostly practice and repetition that allows us to feel more comforted in certain situations, as that is how our brain is learning.
Facing new challenges we find ourselves getting overwhelmed at times.
It does not mean we can‘t achieve certain goals at some point of our life, but maybe just not yet.
Let‘s take this thought into the world of yoga.
The practice of yoga can be physically very challenging. Often we find ourselves not being able to do certain poses.
This does not mean we will never be able to, just not yet.
If we want to stand on one foot and hold the big toe of the other foot at the same time this can be challenging.
In case we are struggling we could take two different approaches:
A: We keep trying to do this one pose over time and see what happens.
B: We try to understand what this pose is asking from us (Balance, Flexibility, Strength etc.) and find out on what particular field we want/need to improve in order to reach our goal.
Let‘s take this thought off the mat again.
I remember when I started surfing how scary it was to get tumbled around and how frightening and random these waves seemed to me at that point.
After some time I figured that I needed to improve my paddling skills and think more about my position towards the waves. All of a sudden medium sized waves started to feel within my “comfort zone“.
But there is limits to that. Just yesterday I had the humbling experience of facing the biggest waves I have ever surfed. For sure not within my “comfort zone“, for now.
I decided to go home and take care of my physcial health instead of “stepping out of my comfort zone“.
Maybe because of the experience I had when I was 21 years-old and someone told me I could make that jump with my snowboard and I went for it. Result was a pretty rough landing after about 30 feet and fracturing one of my vertebraes.
Sometimes it might be better to just step back and accept what it is for now.
Years later I was feeling comfortable doing jumps of that size with my snowboard and I am pretty sure one day big waves won‘t be as scary as they are now.
Same goes for our handstand and similar challenges in yoga.
It takes the time it takes.
Every practice on our way towards a certain goal makes us more comfortable in what we are doing.
Instead of “Go for It“,
“Practice for It“!
On and Off the Mat...