I’ve been frequenting the yin yoga classes at the studio down the street; the feminine side of yoga, nurturing, building up. This style of yoga focuses on releasing and opening the connective tissues–the ligaments, tendons, and fascia that are so important to our body, and are at times chronically tension-holding. In Yin the poses are held for longer–muscles only take one or two minutes to release, but our connective tissues take longer, sometimes 4 minutes, sometimes 10.
The past few weeks my teacher Jack has been talking about the importance of therapeutic stress–moving into a space within the postures that creates discomfort but not pain, as a means to open up energy flow. The essence of this healthy stress is to facilitate transformation.
Deep into a forward fold, minute 6 or so, feeling the definite presence of therapeutic stress, my mind wondered, “Where else am I creating and cultivating therapeutic stress in my life?” Whether we’re trying a healthier eating pattern (the 2×4 challenge comes to mind), working on being more vulnerable, creating healthy boundaries, or trying zumba for the first time–therapeutic stress is there, with all it’s benefits and all it’s discomfort.
It seems to me that willingly creating therapeutic stress in our lives opens up doors to growth. And who doesn’t want to grow: into healthier, more joyful ways of moving through the world? Transformation definitely is accompanied by growing pains, aka therapeutic stress pains. But it’s so worth it, don’t you think?