Yesterday I was thinking about how I have so much less to prove to myself or anyone else with my yoga practice than I did in my 20’s. Today I met my ego in my resistance to modifying a pose I was sure I could do.
My teacher suggested I do an ankle to knee pose on my back against the wall instead of pigeon. I was trying to tell her that the pain in my knee was manageable and she persisted so kindly that I might be creating a micro tear in my knee and that there was a safer, more effective way to stretch my hip.
Why did I resist making a modification that would help me have less pain and get the correct stretch? Pride, comparison to others and a past version of myself, wanting to be at a level of flexibility I don’t currently have and being willing to suffer for it.
Just because a pain is manageable doesn’t mean it’s okay or that it doesn’t warrant finding a better way. I can see that there are ways that I create manageably painful micro tears in my life and relationships. It’s not easy to move through the uncomfortable edge of saying “This isn’t working for me, I need to make a change and find a better way.” It’s not always easy to trust that there will be something better and less painful on the other side.