Opportunity for Growth

This morning I was doing yoga again.  My neck and shoulders had so many knots that I could barely turn my head.  Has this ever happened to you?

It’s not a pleasant way to start the day.  Fortunately, the next lesson up on my DVD was the exercise that works the upper back and shoulders.  So I knew that if I could push through the discomfort, some relief would follow. 

This is a newish realization.

I used to avoid the lesson that I did today (and the one after it).  Both of them make me physically uncomfortable.  My muscles shake under the strain of the stretches and I have to struggle for each improvement.  

It’s kind of ridiculous, but it used to make me feel demoralized.  I had no patience for the limitations of my body.

Then one day, in spite of myself, I relaxed my mind enough to just concentrate on the stretch.  And as my muscles started to shake I diverted my attention.  Instead of silently berating myself for my physical weakness, I reminded myself of an instructor’s words: quivering muscles indicate dissolving tension and increasing strength. 

Two things which still sound good to me.

…and that reminder…that change of perspective allowed me to embrace the shudder that I previously considered a shortcoming.  When the 20 minutes ended and I had overcome the anxiety of the strain, I was left with a new sense of flexibility and movement in my shoulders.  It was enlightening.

And still is.

It opened my eyes to the thought that discomfort sometimes masks an opportunity for growth.


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