One Yogi Phrase That’s Gotten Me Through Life

I didn’t know it at the time, but six years ago I moved to LA to “find myself.” And find myself I did, right in the middle of an alcohol-infused frenzy of party-hopping and drug-infused debauchery. But that’s not to say I never learned anything along the way. I guess you could say I just had a lot to get out of my system.

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While I still consider myself an amateur, no – aspiring – yogi, it was in LA where I first started practicing, and one of the few things there that actually made me a better person.

One night, I was in a yoga class when a teacher said something that still sticks with me today  (and something I wish I had known much sooner). We were in the midst of some horribly awkward pose in a 100-degree room and the sun beating in through the windows, when she said,

“Acknowledge the discomfort and move on.”

My tense muscles, stiff joints and the beads of sweat rolling down my brow came to full attention, and a smile crossed my face as each dissolved into a calm hold I could hang onto forever should I try. Acknowledge the discomfort and move on. The pain had become an observation instead of a feeling, and my entire being felt it.

That one phrase, those six little words, have gotten me through much more than crow pose or wheel. Awkward interviews, altercations, embarrassing episodes or the question of judgement in someone’s tone. I’ve even used it to curb unhealthy food cravings (though it doesn’t work every time).

It probably had a lot to do with getting my ass out of California too. I knew that I was meant for something better, and it wasn’t going to happen there with all of its beachy, lackadaisical charm. I could feel the tension and discomfort riddle through my bones just as I had that day in the yoga studio years before, and I knew then that it was time to move on.

Now, whenever I feel shame, embarrassment, doubt or insecurity creeping in, I choose to observe it instead of letting it seep into my soul. And then I let it pass as quickly as it’s come.

Life is full of uncomfortable moments. Will you let your mind take over and try to fight it, or can you acknowledge the discomfort and move on?

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