The Yogi's Quest: Learning to Sit with Discomfort

Dear Yogis,

My heart and thoughts have been with my country since hearing the outcome of the US election. Whether or not you see the result as a victory or a defeat, one thing is clear: there is healing work and uniting to be done at home.

As yogis, we work towards empathy, love, tolerance, and understanding. However, if you are unhappy with the outcome, I challenge you to sit with your anger and not try to repress whatever feelings come up for you.

Why would a yoga teacher tell you to embrace anger?

You know the moment you want to come out of your (Utkatasana/ Warrior 3/Fill in the blank with your least favorite pose) because your "very mean" yoga teacher has held you there for a few too many breaths?

That's the moment you fight through the urge to come out of the posture and stay with the bubbling sensations of anger and frustration. That's the instant when we do the work to cut through the mental chatter to find some mental clarity and come back to our breath. That is the hour at which we fight and ultimately find growth.

This is that moment. It just happens to be off the mat.

I know these moments well. Believe me, I dislike them as much as you do.

But if we come out of the discomfort early, we will only find ease in the short-term and be confronted yet again with the same difficult situation the next time we step on the mat.

What I'm saying is if we slip back into what's comfortable because maybe our lives aren't affected that much, we will not change, nor will the world.

We cannot let our Facebook feeds and our minds go back to cat videos, cookies and "who wore it best"! (Maybe this was just my pre-election feed...)

We are better than this.

(I'm not saying we can't still have and love the cat videos, but we also have to take more individual action and responsibility moving forward and speaking up and getting involved is step one.)

I challenge all of us collectively to do the work on and off the mat. Let's use our displeasure and channel it into positive productive work for the world.

I think the best way to unite our efforts is to get involved in communities working for the causes we value most, as well as personally setting an example for responsible and peaceful individual action. (For a list of things I plan on doing in the short term, please see my Facebook post.)

What communities are you involved in? What actions are you taking to make the world a better place? How can we ensure we are protecting our planet and our rights?

Please comment on this post so we can all work together and inspire one another to make this world a better place.


Taryn Vander HoopComment