Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Acquiesce" to Pain -- today's mantra!

Monday evening was a challenging class for me, though I thoroughly enjoyed it. The poses were difficult, so the next day I was in pain and extremely sore. I was walking funny as my left glute was particularly affected. Therefore I decided to make an appointment for massage with Jeremy this evening. So here I am on the massage table, being pulled, kneaded, stretched, pressed and crushed. And each massage stroke would result in more pain.

I felt it was making it worse until I had another "eureka moment". I recalled something I had read in "Light on Life" by Mr. BKS Iyengar a while back. It was a chapter where he discussed "pain" and "surrendering to pain". It had particularly struck me, as life is full of painful moments. So I "acquiesced". I let my mind surrender to all the pain in my body, which included my particularly sore glutes and quads and back. Suddenly I felt a new appreciation of the pain. Then the calmness sunk in and I started breathing. I finally relaxed to really experience the massage while letting go of the pain it was causing me!

In that moment, I realized my body had simply re-awakened. It had "oxygenated" and the cells in my muscles were regenerating. The soreness and the pain was simply a catalyst. Jeremy commented that the muscles were not as tight as the last time a few weeks back. They were sore but they seemed to handle the pressure better.

So "acquiscence" is the new word I re-learnt today. Acquiscing to pain is not just a great way to learn difficult yoga poses but to deal with pain in life as well. By acquiescing, we let the pain and all it manifests in our life to take its course. We give ourselves room to appreciate those painful moments and in that process we build new strength to learn to bear such pain. An appropriate thought and frame of mind, as we learn and re-learn all those difficult back-bends and difficult asanas. I appreciated Guruji's words in his book more than ever. I deal with stress and pain all the time. Acquiscing to it is probably a better way to deal with pain, more so than fighting it.


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