I say this about a million times per class. It’s the key to everything.
Yoga and meditation are all about learning how to FEEL. Staying with discomfort — whether that’s an emotion or a tricky pose — without freaking out or running away. Making friends with all the very human feelings that arise within the course of an hour or a day or a lifetime.
Which is hard in a culture where, from little on up, we’re told things like “Stop crying!!” or “Nice girls don’t get angry!” or “Why so serious? Put on a smile.”
Your anxious thoughts or difficult moods aren’t good or bad; they just ARE.
See what happens if you can start to just notice them (“Huh, isn’t that interesting, I feel completely pissed off right now”) and stay with them without judging (“Oof, my hamstrings are SCREAMING in this pose!! I’m gonna DIE!!”).
Sit tenderly, and turn toward the discomfort. Breathe into it.
Over time, slowly, surely, you’ll be less likely to get tangled up in your thoughts and feelings — realizing they’re temporary, and you’re steady, and spacious, like the sky.
It’s deeply psychological. We’re re-wiring, re-learning what it means to be fully human. (So much more than just poses.)
And that’s only a good thing.