In yoga, this is the moment we all know well - the one that has us concentrating so hard that our muscles, twitching and begging for rest, are drowned out only by the realization that sweat is beginning to bead directly into our eyes. And, yet, we stay.
Why do we dutifully follow the instructor's request to squat a little lower, bend a little deeper and breathe fully into the pain? Because we can. Because as we practice, we begin to realize that most discomfort is within our bounds to endure. It improves us. It reveals capabilities previous unknown and allows us to perfect them. We already have the tools within us, we just need practice using them.
What are these tools?
Quite simply, breath and patience; the concentration and the effort to find a focus and endure the discomfort. Knowing that digging deeper is a choice more than an ability and making the choice to stay put. Even when it means stepping out, losing balance or needing ample time to recover (aka. cry) from a particularly difficult pose. Having faith that we can succeed pushes open that door, even through moments of extreme self-doubt (or moments that only wedge it open, inch by inch).
This is the whole point of yoga, really: proving that limits exist in one's mind and that our bodies are fully capable of carrying us through them. This is the pay-off of breathing through our absolute certainty of failure - we succeed, even when we fail. But how does this lesson apply to real life?
As you embark upon your own path of resistance, remember to lean in. It will get better, if only because you are getting stronger. (You will get stronger.)