Ready? Set? Stop!

On Monday night I went to a yoga class and the teacher spoke of how in yoga we don’t employ “No Pain, No Gain” but amend that phrase to be “No Pain, No Pain”.  He went on to say that if one goes into a pose and there is pain, back off.  Pushing ourselves into painful postures isn’t going to help us grow our practice but could end up having a long term detrimental impact on our ability to practice.  Now don’t get me wrong, he didn’t expect all of us yogis to stay in child’s pose for 90 minutes, and he did offer some amazing variations of the poses, but he asked us to proceed with consciousness and to be considerate of those around us as well.  For if we weren’t secure in a pose (like handstand) then not only could we hurt ourselves, but we could hurt those around us – by falling on them!

This got me thinking.  Could I – or should I – apply the “No Pain, No Pain” mantra to other aspects of my life?  I mean, how great would that be to never feel hurt!  Yep, this seems counter intuitive to the emotional opening-up I’ve written about in the past and I think it might be.  I’m wondering, if my heart gets bruised up now, will that impact my ability to use it later on?  And conversely, if I back off of and protect my emotional center, does that mean I will have full use of it for the rest of my life?  The only thing keeping me from shutting down completely is the fear of regret.  Going back to yoga… Yes, I want to ensure that I don’t hurt myself in a pose, but on the other hand, do I want to stay so safe that I miss out on the fun that comes with trying something new?  If I don’t let someone into my life fully (and how do I even know they want to be part of my life), then what am I missing out on?  Ugh, insecurity, you are rearing your ugly head!

If you are reading this and you know me, then you know that I will over-analyze and over-intellectualize anything.  I am so comfortable in my head and terrified of sitting in my heart.  For me, relationships are like a very unstable, middle of the room, no wall, emotional handstand.  Chances are I’m going to fall and hurt myself and possibly someone else.  So I’m leaning toward erring on the side of caution and not taking any chances.  Funny thing is, making the decision to play it safe and close up a little evokes some pain as well.

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