Did you ever watch Survivorman, the show on the Discovery Channel? Les Stroud is a survival expert and he strands himself in remote locations and survives with his knowledge, common sense and survival skills.
I watched an episode this weekend and discovered that this show is life coaching 101.
This man is equipped with the skills and internal tools he needs to survive in extreme conditions. Well, that’s kind of what life coaching is like, and a life coach shares the knowledge of tools and skills they have learned and developed in order to not only survive, but to successfully navigate through the wilderness and jungles of everyday life.
In the episode I watched just this weekend, Les stated the following, which I thought was brilliant.
“It’s often thought that there are black and white answers to what someone must do in a survival situation. But there never is. It will always be an ordeal fraught with variables and circumstances that will dictate what my next move is. Its equal parts preparation, pro-activity and reacting to whatever I have to face.”
This is everyday life as well. We don’t need to be in a jungle with fire ants at our feet and a rain storm on our head to know how challenging life can be. Just walking through our daily life requires a skill set and preparation and pro-activity, just like Les said. And whatever we have to face, we can stare at it and deal with it and do the best we can with the tools we have. The thing is, that when you get life coached, you get more tools!
The reason I love yoga so much is that it gently challenges me to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. And if the challenge is too great for me, I can rest in child’s pose and try again later, if I wish. This process is comforting, gives me confidence and when I do lean into my tension and relax into a pose it teaches me the art of letting go.
My advice to anyone participating in yoga, do not feel pushed into any one style or be convinced that you need to excel and master power flows. There is no destination in yoga. Yes, you may get more flexible and get more comfortable in poses, but the key is to learn how to be comfortable in the present moment.
I recommend gentle Hatha Yoga first as a start.
What you learn in your yoga class is what you carry with you in your daily life.
I did my first swing yoga class on the weekend and hanging upside down in a suspended hammock like device was a bit strange at first, and when my arms and head dangled a few inches above the floor, I heard my internal voice say “exist comfortably here.”
Thats’s it. That’s the lesson in Yoga. Exist comfortably here. Even though your ass is in a sling and your world is turned upside down, you can still breathe, you can still focus and you can still survive. Learn to exist comfortably in those moments. Know the challenging moments in your life are temporary, but acknowledge them, lean into them, and let go. Before you know it your feet will be back on the ground and you will be wiser, stronger and braver than you ever were before.
“Exist comfortably here” is my new mantra and I welcome you to use it for yourself in those unexpected strange positions life sometimes puts you in.