Make Uncomfortable Comfortable
Updated: Jan 10, 2020
While I was doing my yoga teacher training in Thailand, one thing that one of the yoga guru's drilled into our brains was that if you want to become stronger, and be the best version of yourself, on and off your mat, you need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. So what exactly does this mean you might ask? Making uncomfortable comfortable? Well it means a series of things that I'm going to go a little deeper in within this post.
First off, one of the most thought out ways to get uncomfortable is through physical movement. For those of you that follow my fitness Instagram, you may have seen the pain and strain master Lek put us through with extensive retention of strenuous yin yoga postures. Well, the saying is true, "no pain, no gain." If you stay within your comfort zone of your asanas, your practice won't progress because you build muscle memory and stay where you've found comfortability. The same is true for other workouts whether they be distance or endurance workouts. So what was the point of holding pigeon and frog pose for five minuets at a time? The point was to open up the muscles that maybe haven't been stretched that deeply in a while, or ever, and gain a perspective as where you would be if you practiced that way once a week. You could be on the path of making uncomfortable slightly more comfortable.
Contrary to the physical side of this mantra is the mental mentality. By now, you might have already thought of a couple things one can do to intellectually challenge themselves by reaching beyond the comfort zones. If one of those things was moving abroad to a foreign country then you got it. While Instagram is a platform that only shows the glamorous side of things that happen abroad, it's important to bring attention to the reality of the discomfort and uneasiness that comes with moving abroad.
Somedays are as glamorous as the market of social media has everyone convinced going abroad is, but the days of luxurious boat tours and island getaways are much more rare than the daily struggle and frustration of living in Ho Chi Minh City. The biggest frustration that I have come to face is first and foremost the language barrier. This is the source of my struggles because up until this point, everywhere I have traveled abroad to have always spoken English. Now for the first time ever almost no one here speaks English. Even just trying to figure out maps when I haven't the slightest clue of my whereabouts, can get me so turned around that before I know it, a half hour has already passed, I'm at ground zero, and can't even ask someone on the street for help because they'll respond to me in a language that is absolute gibberish. I would have to say that the language barrier is a factor in every aspect of challenges I face here. It limits my ability to talk to locals, get directions, seek advice, even catching rides to somewhere I booked through the convenience of an app.
Sometimes the discomfort I feel has me wanting to lay on the floor and cry. So you know what I do in those times? Roll out my yoga mat and do exactly that. I accept my feelings and express them by letting go through movement. My yoga practice has been so powerful for me in this aspect. I was writing to one of my friends today about how sometimes I wake up and just want to keep sleeping because I don't have the energy to do yoga or workout, and that makes it all the more challenging to step out of the house and find a healthy affordable meal. It's these moments when I need to rely on my yoga the most. It goes beyond the physical practice and really begins when I leave the mat.
When you run into so many daily difficulties from something that normally can be simply solved on your own, it can weigh you down and make you feel so incompetent, making you view your life in a negative way. For someone who is normally upbeat and positive, I find it hard to look at myself this way. I don't like it, and as much as I wish I could shake it, sometimes there are things outside of your control that you can't do anything about other than let it ride. In the tough times it's about finding what works for you. It may be through physical movement, or it may be splurging on yourself with your favorite meal or drink. Whatever it may be, find those acts of self-care and don't let them go, because they are what will save you.
The daily repetition makes the biggest impact. It could be anything that brings you comfort in times of discomfort. It is so powerful when you find the niche that works for you because then you know you can get through the hard times. It builds an essence of hope while instilling a relationship of trust from within.. When you turn inward and trust, you can manifest whatever life you want to create for yourself.
That is where I've come to find my comfort in uncomfortable. For me, it's forcing myself to lay on my yoga mat. Even if at first it's uncomfortable, due to certain poses releasing an emotional attachment, it makes uncomfortable comfortable, while instead of holding on to stagnant energy, it's able to clear out, and then life is created in its full potential.
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