Journey to the centre of the self | india | Hindustan Times
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Journey to the centre of the self

india Updated: Jul 05, 2010 00:11 IST
Shalini Singh
Shalini Singh
Hindustan Times
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“Stretch. Push yourself harder. Feel the pain. Become one with it. Till you don’t feel it anymore. And then, a feeling of bliss will come over you. Come on everyone, do it!” the instructor yelled.

We were attempting a 180-degree split in yoga class the other morning, most of us groaning and moaning, not daring to let our legs down completely, lest it hurt too much. And once we did, the pain was unbearable. Watching one person do it, the other got inspired. But ultimately, it was about doing it yourself. After a while the pain just vanished. We felt numb, and then, bliss. So much so that no one wanted to move from that position! We had transcended the very pain we feared. And soon enough, the class started radiating with triumphant smiles.

This simple instruction in exercise was so profound about life itself, I realised later.

Most times we are so content to be what we are, to stay in our comfort zones, not daring the selves to ‘push ahead’... Why? Because we think this is it. Whether it’s our bodies or mind, being comfortable/stagnant is not the same as being content. The ego tells us we are fine as we are, but once you drop the ego and come to a state of nothingness, you just flow.

You don’t know how far you can go till you try to. And importantly, we are so scared of the pain that comes with pushing boundaries — whether physical or metaphorical — that we don't even attempt to stretch ourselves. Maybe it's a lack of awareness, which comes from not questioning enough, being too comfortable in a given state. Is this all that I am? Am I defined by my present dimensions or is there more and can I discover it? Life itself works in a flow, it's not static, then how can you be content to just be what you are?

Face the pain that life gives. It's one thing to be positive/optimistic, another to be an escapist. Running away or avoiding it will not make pain go away, simply because pain is an important milestone in achieving evolution. Once you face it squarely, it'll go, simply because you would have become one with it and moved ahead. And then, there will be bliss.

Just the way my yoga instructor said in class the other day.