“Do the Opposite and See How That Feels…”


I was in a class recently called “Happy Yoga” and before getting on our mats for poses, the instructor had us dancing and holding up our arms to the song “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters. Not you’re average yoga, I know, and it turns out that song was the five-minute version… at a midway point my arms were tingling and aching for a break. I know I wasn’t alone. It was then when the instructor said something important:

If you are used to quitting, hold on. If you never give yourself a break, take one.  The point is, change your normal pattern and do the opposite and see how that feels.”

Wow, that hit home for me. We often go on autopilot when it comes to our natural inclination to push or to quit. I think most of us are decidedly in one camp or the other.   It has to do with the challenge at hand, our self-efficacy and the wisdom to know which goals are worth accomplishing and which ones aren’t.

True, finishing this disco song with my arms above my head wasn’t even a goal I knew I had before the class, but it did awaken in me my self dialogue about how I push myself, even when the stakes are low. I believe there is power in changing certain patterns, especially ones that get in our way. Learning to adopt a more intentional approach, one that offers more choice and less stress is my takeaway from the class. I’m definitely a work in progress, shifting away from taskmaster to a kinder, gentler inner voice.

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