I heard a quote about yoga that stopped me in my tracks. I’m sorry I can’t remember where I heard it, but the gist is: the purpose of yoga is to get comfortable with discomfort, both on and off the yoga mat. By stretching yourself up against your edge, holding a pose a moment longer than you want to, or even just unrolling your mat first thing in the morning instead of lunging blearily towards the coffeemaker, you are training not only your muscles and physical alignment, but also your alignment in life. Your flexibility to meet life’s challenges, bid them hello, and stay in a space of discomfort, or even boredom.
How many of us cannot stand the simple boredom of waiting in line at the grocery store, or post office, so we pick up our phones and scroll without even thinking about it? (*raises hand* “guilty!”). By meeting the discomfort, unease, boredom, or uncertainty head on, we give ourselves the opportunity to stretch, to grow a bit beyond what we know of ourselves.
Acting is a discipline that also requires tremendous flexibility. Flexibility of schedule, time, energy. Making a strong choice or decision about your character, and then being asked to adjust it on a dime for a director. Commitment and yet flexibility. An open hand, not a clenched fist. I hope that my acting career, as well as my longtime yoga practice, invite more opportunities for me to practice flexibility and change in all areas of my life. It’s not easy work, but hard in a good way. The soul-growing, mind-expanding, creativity-nurturing kind of way.
That said… I’m tempted to skip yoga today in favor of making brunch. Ooh, brunch.
(*unrolls yoga mat with a long sigh*)