Playing It Safe (Part 1) – By Jennifer Laurent

Playing it Safe - Part 1

I started my yoga class off this morning having great difficulty getting out of my head. I could hear the thoughts playing in my mind about how this practice was going to be a struggle to get through, the aches in my body were hurting too much, and how disappointed I was feeling. I decided to take a moment away from my mat and realized very quickly what was happening. I set the intention to simply focus on my breathing and allow the practice to use me as opposed to me using the practice. As I settled back onto my mat, I immediately felt a shift begin to occur. The perception of my practice completely changed and I could feel an opening begin to happen.

As the universe would have it, today’s class was more difficult than usual and I was being offered a life lesson and gift for transformation. Now that I was focused on breathing and allowing the practice to use me, I noticed that I was backing away from poses in which I thought I might feel some discomfort. At one point I heard myself say, “I can’t do that it will hurt.” All at once I realized that I had been hearing that mantra over and over during my practice for quite awhile now. Somewhere along the line I had started playing it safe by avoiding the discomfort all together. I had somehow come to a point where I wasn’t even allowing myself the chance to explore and work through it, I was simply backing off all together.

For the remainder of my practice, I decided I would be willing to take the risk to move into poses that I assumed would be uncomfortable and to also be willing to explore that discomfort and see where it would bring me. Poses that I had backed away from under the assumption that I simply could not do them suddenly became accessible. The discomfort became something to explore and find my way through. As I accepted the discomfort and relaxed into it, I was gifted with the ability to go deeper, realizing a sense of strength and openness that I was unaware I possessed. I was excited and inspired thinking about the way in which my yoga practice has now been opened up to a new layer of exploration. Not only my yoga practice, but my life as well.

See, what we experience on the mat during a yoga class is simply a metaphor for what we are experiencing in our life. Somewhere along the line I had started playing it safe in life too. I had subtly been staying away from areas of discomfort with an “I can’t” attitude, shying away from the risk of exploring what the discomfort might have to offer. I chose to see this as a beautiful gift of protection that I was now ready to move beyond, understanding I am now ready to open up to new layers of being, both in yoga and in my life. I welcome everything the discomfort has to offer me, ready to explore and let go. Ready to move closer to my potential as a being of love in this universe.