Stretching outside of your comfort zone


I recently checked something off my bucket list. After battling aggressive breast cancer, I decided to list some things that I have always wanted to do or dreamed of and began the check off process. My list isn't that grand or expensive but rather a compilation of things that once paralyzed me with fear.

I've dabbled with yoga off and on for years. Many of the poses help my asthma by forcing me to focus on breathing and calming techniques. During radiation, yoga was helpful in managing the side effects of skin discomfort and scar tissue build up as well as regaining the limited mobility of my right arm.

Television and movies always made public yoga look so interesting but the thought of taking a class in public was intimidating to me. What if I fell over or couldn't do the poses as well as the person next to me? What if everyone else was limber and I was barely touching my ankles?

This past week, I was casually slipping through the Weekend Guide as I normally do and saw a yoga glass advertised. Okay, so it was a Beer Yoga class that really caught my eye! Ha! I was intrigued at the class being held in a brewery as I absolutely love the scenery in a winery and imagined a brewery would be just as cool.

I mustered up the courage to go by myself and when I arrived, I soon realized it was partner yoga. Oh great! I had brought my invisible BFF. The instructor assured me that it wasn't a problem and she was certain I would pair up with someone else. To my luck, there was a woman behind me who attended with two friends.

So it was initially awkward to start the yoga practice with a complete stranger holding my hand. As we progressed into the class, there were a series of poses that required me to trust her completely and vice versa or else one of us would have fallen on our behinds! We even had to touch our bare feet together! I don't even think I rub feet with my husband!

Throughout the next hour, I was reminded that trust is a two-way street and can be extended immediately. Yes, it was awkward initially touching this stranger and entangling ourselves in a series of body poses but in the end, it was the underlying lesson learned that I will always treasure.

The power of touch and the power of trust are still among the highest powers that exist in the human experience. Once I became comfortable with this new experience, I became more confident in the class. Touching a stranger, holding her hand and joining hands was not as odd or weird as I thought.

I stepped out of my comfort zone A LOT this weekend and I encourage you to do the same. Stretch your mind a little. You'll charter new territories that you once were afraid to travel.

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