The Discomfort Zone

Last week, I participated in a 24-hour yoga training session with Jill Miller, creator of Yoga Tune Up. Labeled as a “Core Immersion” course, I was ready and willing to engage in some serious abdominal work. Over the course of five days, Jill took us through various exercises, using stability balls and Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls to focus on the inner core (e.g., tissues, fascia); in other words, the stuff that only massage therapists often get to.

At one point during the training, Jill warned that many of us may feel intense discomfort… the theory being that when we pass through discomfort to the other side, we grow. On that topic, I agree with her. While I admire her tenacity and Yoga Tune Up® program, it just wasn’t for me. I realized that my discomfort (brought upon by the task to knead each other’s spinal fascia and pound on our fellow yogis’ stomachs with our fists) stemmed from the fact that her yoga is not my yoga. And that’s okay.

Over the past 10 years, I have tried different yoga techniques, picking and choosing what works for me. During Jill’s week-long training, I passed through anger (at my injury, the unfamiliarity of the poses, and the judgments my ego felt inclined to make) and came out the other side with respect. Respect for Jill, for her journey, and for the technique that works for her.

While I might not have taken away the intended “lesson” from the Yoga Tune Up® training, I did learn this: be open to new things but stay true to what feels right. Whether you call it your “core,” “gut,” or “heart”…know that it will never deceive you.

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