Today in the yoga class there were quite a few new comers and the teacher was explaining what they may feel during the class due to the heat – sweat, dizziness or nausea, and while going through all this always remember to breathe, as breath is the only thing that will get us through.:)
So at one point she started giving us variations of a posture and told us if we feel pain we must stop, but if we feel discomfort then we must go on because discomfort goes away with practice, but pain is damaging in yoga for sure.
And then I was thinking about the difference between “Discomfort” and “Pain”.
Do we ever know the difference between the two or mistake one for the other?
To my mind, like the teacher said, “Discomfort in a posture goes away with practice.”, perhaps Discomfort in life too is short-lived. Discomfort comes from various situations, like a new place, new people, anything unfamiliar but all it takes is getting to know, getting to observe and discomfort goes away. Because body has muscle memory and heart is a muscle, it all works out in the end. 🙂
But “Pain” is a different story altogether. Pain is damaging to the body in yoga and to the mind in life. While Discomfort comes from unfamiliar or new, Pain comes from shock or unexpected. And there is a difference between the unfamiliar and the unexpected. The unfamiliar in life conditions us to expect something different, we may like it or not, but the unexpected in life comes and shake up a belief, faith or a value system. While Discomfort eases us in, Pain makes us pull out and stay away. In Discomfort we continue to breathe, in Pain we forget to take a breath.
So I guess, it would be good for all of us to think for a moment and ask if what we are feeling is Discomfort or Pain. And always remember to breathe, no matter what.