I’ve been thinking about the pause between stimulus and response a lot lately. I remember that concept being one of the first things that resonated with me in my yoga practice. My teacher, Sarah Cahill, would remind us that yoga is about becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. That staying in a pose that challenges us (not in a way that induces pain!) is a part of practicing the pause between stimulus and response, of allowing the feelings but not running away from them or reacting to them. In our asana practice we are asked to simply be with what is happening, accept, pause, feel, breathe, and know that all is well.
I know I am not alone when I say that there’s been much in the past year of my life that I’ve wanted to run away from. So much stimulus!!! And my responses—kinda all over the place. But that’s okay, because this practice isn’t about responding perfectly to every situation every time. The practice is to gently remind ourselves again and again that we have the capacity to pause, to respond differently, to break patterns that aren’t doing us any good any longer.
So that’s what we’ll focus on in class. We’ll build toward a few arm balances and we’ll notice along the way how when things get challenging, we can pause, notice, and choose a response that will help us learn, grow, awaken and transform.