Just because it hurts doesn’t mean you should quit

The yoga posture begins when you want to leave it.

Practicing for the past week at an ashtanga-style studio where we contort ourselves into the primary series’ postures and then hold each one for five breaths (that’s four seconds in, four seconds out, times five) has really emphasized Iyengar’s point that la posture commence quand on a envie de s’arreter.

The good stuff starts when you feel like quitting. This is true of adventures.  When you lose the high trail at 4:45pm in November and realize you don’t have a headlamp. THAT’s when the adventure begins.

Because adventure takes on many forms, and the best ones start out uncomfortable.

It’s being at the trailhead with a too-heavy pack. It’s climbing a mountain that no amount of training could have prepared you for. It’s deciding to go to another country for six months. It’s realizing you can’t get back to the other side of the mountain because the tunnel closed twenty minutes ago. It’s dragging your blistered feet to the summit. It’s enduring the storm in an inadequate sleeping bag. It’s sneaking into the museum and then getting locked in. It’s moving away from everything you know and attending university in a foreign language. It’s sharing a cab with the locals. It’s trusting the locals. It’s arguing with your travelling partner, even though he’s the only person with whom you can speak English. It’s sprinting through the station, but missing the train anyway.  It’s realizing the next train isn’t for three days.

Adventure is a chance to push beyond the discomfort and see what awaits on the other side. It’s sticking with the plan, even when you feel like quitting. It’s enduring the pain and knowing it’s not in vain.

See you on the mat. See you on the mountain. See you on the adventure.

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