By Laura Mills
Last week I attended a 75-minute class that left me with achy hips and legs 24 hours later. I loved the class—it was one of those fast-flowing, core-centered sweaty practices—but the challenge caught me a little off-guard and left me wincing with every step long after Savasana ended.
Every yogi encounters moments like these on the mat. We struggle where we usually don’t and think, “Wait, I can usually do this without a problem. What’s wrong?” One of the most difficult things to do—on the mat as well as off—is to remain kind to and accepting of ourselves as we are. Until about ten years ago, I was used to surpassing most challenges with determination and hard work. But the challenges grew more difficult than I could handle, and I broke down…which is when yoga, thankfully, provided a safe place within which I could struggle but still ultimately find peace. I learned that all challenges, large and small, on the mat and off, eventually either pass or deepen into something that serves.
I believe there’s no safer place for a little bit of struggle than a yoga mat. It’s okay; we never push to the point of pain, but we learn to gradually accept struggle as a teacher while we mindfully assess, align and adjust our way towards more positive tomorrows.