For some time now I’ve been nagging my yogini to do her shoulder exercises. Having injured her shoulder she’s got this giant rubber band thing and a set of exercises to do three times a day. OK so I’ll admit that’s probably pushing it timewise – but once a day? Why is this not happening I keep asking her? After some thought she answers, “Fear.”
Having been with my yogini for some years now I’m beginning to see that whenever I ask, “Why are you avoiding [Insert name of thing here]?” the answer is always fear. So it’s become much more interesting to ask, “Fear of what, exactly?” My yogini admits that’s she’s become rather settled into adjusting her practice around her shoulder. No chaturanga; side plank with the knee down. Some of the fear relates to the gizzillion chaturangas in each class, that she’ll have lost her strength to do these, and that they’ll be HARD. And then there’s further fear about all those scary inversions that lie beyond …. particularly handstand … which shoulder-out-of-action give her a good excuse to avoid wrestling with.
So I’m beginning to see that the answer to, “Fear of what, exactly?” is nearly always answered with, “Fear of leaving my comfort zone.” I keep showing her the picture, you know the one – blob for comfort zone and, outside, blob for ‘where the magic is’. “I know! I know!” she says, “but getting from comfort zone to magic is like getting from the Shire to Mordor – necessary but hard.” I’m not sure I’m completely with this analogy. Sure the magic zone is nicer than Mordor? And the journey improving rather than scarring? But I kind of know what she means.