We’re constantly being told by advertisers and marketers that we need their products to reduce “unnecessary” aggravation and irritation. We’re told we can, and should, avoid any type of frustration. But this isn't realistic. First of all, it’s impossible to avoid all irritants in life. And irritants create a necessary friction that motivates us to try harder, buffing away our rough edges.
Think of oysters, who gradually build layer upon layer of protective coating around an invading irritant, eventually fabricating a shiny, beautiful jewel. But it takes repeated effort and time. It can take anywhere from 6 months to 10 years to create one pearl.
One could translate the recipe for creating a pearl as follows:
Insert an irritant
Wait = Time
There can be many irritants in the practice of yoga. Poses we don’t like. Actions that once were easy but are now hard. The difficulty of focusing and balancing. Pain or discomfort. But if we apply our skillfulness, repeating often over time, yoga teaches us to better tolerate these irritants. It helps us buff our jagged emotions, making them feel smoother and rounder and easier to tolerate.
So don’t completely avoid the stuff you don’t like in your yoga practice. Use the friction to help you create sapphires of self-awareness and pearls of wisdom. Repeat often over a long period of time.
May your practice yield a jewel box of inner gems. Namaste.