Two weeks ago, I went on a bike ride along the Lachine Canal with one of my boys. Great afternoon of exercise, fresh air, and a natural relaxation just being one with nature. Afterwards, we biked through a part of Notre-Dame street where we stopped for amazing coffee (free plug for Café St-Henri!) It was such fun being in an area outside of the suburb that we live in and often frequent. I told my son that I felt like I was exploring an exciting new city. His answer was so simple: “why don’t you just come out here more often?” Brilliant. Indeed, why don’t I?
Whether it be in our Yoga practice, or in our day to day life, we tend to stick to the familiar. The path that requires the least effort. Simple, quick, sure thing. Is it just me, or do you tend to go to the same restaurants over and over? You have your favourite coffee/tea spot? Do you tend to vacation in the same places over and over? On a larger scale, do you stick to a job that you know, but don’t necessarily like? Do you stick with relationships or friendships that don’t really serve you, because its easier than getting out and starting new ones?
On my yoga mat, when I practice at home, truth be told, I tend to do the same poses week after week. That’s one of the main reasons that I try and go to classes when I can, because when you practice with another teacher, chances are you’ll be pushed a little out of your comfort zone. And guess what? It almost always feels great. When you try a new restaurant; when you explore a new part of your city; when you say “no” to something or someone – when your entire life you’ve said “yes” all the time; in all these situations, you are setting the stage for growth, simply by doing something different. The challenge and the fear associated with it, comes from the “new-ness” of the situation. Let’s remember that things are only “new” the first time around! The first time you try an arm balance, or any balance pose in Yoga, it can seem crazy hard! The second time around, still hard but maybe a little less crazy. It may be difficult for quite some time, but every little success becomes monumental. You celebrate holding a pose for 3 seconds, then 5 seconds… and so it goes. This is the story of my “Crow” pose. Every extra SECOND in crow pose is celebrated! And why not?
This weekend, another of my boys ran the Montreal Marathon (21K). Every time I’m at the finish line waiting for him, there’s this sense of exhilaration that I get just by all the adrenaline that surrounds me! It looks so thrilling to challenge your body in that way. I know I cannot run due to an old back injury, but guess what? I can walk. Therefore I’ve challenged myself to the tune of entering a 5K race in the near future, and walking it !
Fear not, I’ll celebrate that achievement as much as my 10 seconds in “crow” pose!
On the mat, or off – getting out of our comfort zones can be scary. However it can also be super exciting! If you haven’t done so yet, find Café St-Henri and go try the cold brew !! If, like myself, you can’t run a Marathon, join me and walk a 5K! Let’s all explore new ground! The thrill of expanding our horizons will outweigh the fear.