I wanted to share another of my favorite yoga poses today, it is Chair Pose (Utkatasana).
I find that I am one of the few people that loves this pose. Whenever I cue this pose in my yoga classes, I get some dirty looks or groans. I start to get the side eye if I hold my students there too long and I get confused looks when I start to talk about how much I love it
It was not always this way, so I can understand their frustration and confusion. This pose can be uncomfortable and difficult. You sink your hips back as though you were sitting into a chair. You squeeze your thighs together, but keep your knees hip distance apart. You lift your arms up, but keep your shoulders plugged back into their sockets. There is so much lifting, lowering, balance and muscle engagement occurring and yet, you are supposed to remember to breathe and stay calm.
My natural instinct was to panic in this pose and wonder when it would be over. I felt anything except calm. My thighs, glutes and quads were firing up and sweat would pour into my eye. I did not feel at peace in this pose.
However, I begin to approach this pose differently and try to learn from it. I tried to find quiet in my mind, when all it wanted to do was get dramatic. I used my breath to find steadiness and begin to just be OK with the discomfort.
This pose truly taught me how to be OK, even when amongst discomfort. It is easy for me to find inner peace and relaxation while I am getting a massage, while I am reading in bed or drinking my morning tea. However, my true struggle is finding that same quiet mind, when I am in less relaxing situations; in traffic, in conflict, in new situations.
This week I am starting a new job. I do not know anyone yet and I have so much to learn. Although I am extremely excited, I am also nervous. It will be a completely unfamiliar situation, where I do not know what to completely expect. This certainly brings up discomfort, but I will work to find the peace amongst it.
How do you find peace amongst discomfort?