Stretching Beyond Your Comfort Zone

That safe space…the Comfort Zone.  Frequently when we set goals we still work within our comfort zone.  That “good stretch” zone.   Even setting goals I feel we often choose goals that stay in our comfort zone.  Ones we know we can achieve if we just work really hard.

Silhouette of a girl practicing yoga

Sunday I was doing my youtube yoga.  I needed to step up my yoga game so I found a class that was a deeper stretch and much more intense than what I normally do.  It was way beyond my comfort zone.   It started out with many of the same poses and flows and I normally do, then the instructor kicked it up.   In the middle of an intense pose I was determined  I couldn’t do it.  My leg was in a really weird position and I was resisting giving in.  In my head I was already thinking that I would just go back to one of the sessions I like, one that is an intense workout, one I know I can do, but it still pushes me just a little.  Then I realized I wasn’t breathing. At all.  A major no-no in yoga.  No, I wasn’t comfortable in the pose, but I realized the discomfort was more that I was scared I couldn’t stay in the pose and hold it rather than it physically hurting.  So, was my resisting going to get me to my goal? Nope.  So I breathed. Deeply.  A few times.  I concentrated on the pose, my breath and being in the moment.  And I realized that even though I was far beyond what I considered comfortable, and especially far beyond what I thought was within my ability as a yogi, I was actually holding the pose (albeit shakily), holding my form and that the stretch, while uncomfortable, actually felt really good.  It empowered me to finish a workout that not only took me well beyond my comfort zone, but made me realize that the pipe dream of becoming a certified yoga instructor needs to be moved over to my goal  list.

 

What is your safe “comfort zone”?  Is that where you set your goals?  What can you achieve if you pause,  breathe, and allow yourself to get to the “good uncomfortable” stretch that takes you beyond what you think is possible?   Do something new today that you have always been a little scared to do.  Set a goal that is a big stretch.  And know that you can achieve it.

yoga mat yoga block with logo

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