When your life becomes a series of repeated events, as you hold on to the same beliefs, habits, behaviors, and relationships, you create around yourself a circle — a boundary — where everything is familiar and safe, and everything out is vague and scary.
It’s called “comfort zone” for a good reason. It provides you with comfort, and human beings would do anything to avoid feeling uncomfortable.
That’s one of the reasons people stay in careers or relationships that no longer fulfil a good purpose or make them happy — it keeps them inside a circle of comfort. Otherwise, they would have to get out there and face the unknown and deal with the unexpected.
The problem with this type of attachment is that you can hardly achieve anything in your life as long as you are clinging on to that zone. You do not test your limits, nor discover your potentials, thereby no personal development would be attained.
However, if you decide to move out of your familiar world to another where you can actually grow, yoga is one of the things that can help with that pursuit. Here’s how.
1. Be present.
You never know when the perfect pose will finally come out and that’s what yoga is all about — the present! It’s about learning not to dwell on the past or worry about the future, only to enjoy the here and now.
Students are reminded by most yoga teachers to focus on the journey more than the destination, and to appreciate the process and we should all listen. This attitude will help you to not freak out when things do not go your way, and to accept all what stumbles on your path with open hands — the good, the bad and the ugly!
2. Love the pressure.
What happens when people encounter a stressful situation? Some people will cower or give up, but on the other hand, many do end up doing great things and surprising even themselves. Why? Normal events do not allow us to tap into our real abilities, but when we experience pressure and we know things are at stake, we are inclined to do the very best we can.
Similarly, that’s how yoga pushes you outside your comfort zone. The challenge to get into a posture with focus and visualization, to breathe properly and quiet the mind — all at the same time — forces you to tackle different territories of your body, mind, and soul.
3. Stretch further.
With hundreds of poses and variations, asana puts you in an ever-growing, ever-changing state. You always work on getting something better; whether it is your postures or chakras, there are so many things in yoga you can improve on that you won’t bother with if you’re inside your comfort zone.
4. Stay on the move.
Look around you — to all creatures, almost nothing is static. The whole universe is believed to be dynamic, expanding, and in a constant state of change. The same goes with yoga.
No class is that same — you experience a new art of physical and mental dynamics. You have to align body parts with each other, readjust with modifications and point these body parts to completely different directions. And with meditation, your mind and your psyche tries to cross all imagined boundaries you’ve created.
Leaving your comfort zone may feel like the whole world is crashing down around you. But, it may as well indicate that the universe is giving you a new space to grow in.
As with many other things, this is easier said than done. But yoga can help by being your go-to practice to constantly explore new limits while remaining grounded because it teaches you to obtain confidence and sense of security from within, not from anything outside yourself.