Happy Tuesday! The other day I was teaching a class and we were in Supta Padangusthasana (Lying down, strap around foot, leg up). A young man yelled out, “Why is life so painful?” I responded, “Why is life so painful or why is yoga so painful?” He said, “Both.”
It was such an interesting question, one I had not heard in my class before. My answer was “I don’t know.” And then I preceded to answer the question of how to deal with the pain.
You are in Dog Pose, your hamstrings are killing you. Your shoulders are tight and the teacher is telling you to straighten your legs and press your heels down and flatten your back. You are trying but it hurts! Yes, stretching hurts! But if you don’t move through it, you cannot go deeper.
Instead of working against the pain, become friends with it. Breathe through it and depth comes.
Life is the same way. It can be painful. We all get sad, mad, frustrated, worried, anxious, depressed at times. Things happen. Life happens.
You feel the pain and you get stuck there and it feels difficult to get out. Sometimes you run away from it, pretending it doesn’t exist but knowing it does.
And just like in yoga, you teach yourself to stay there, be in it, feel it, becomes friends with it, breathe through it, and let it go. In this way, depth comes.
Maybe that is why life is painful, to teach us to go deeper. To teach us to be in our life, whether in pain or in pleasure.