Yoga, Vulnerability, and Courage


The idea that vulnerability and courage were intimately linked to my yoga practice hit me with such force that it took my breath away.  It, quite frankly, knocked me flat.  I hadn’t seen it coming though I had been looking for it.  It just didn’t appear as I thought it might.

It appeared smack in the middle of my day job last summer.  We were in a period of intense change and I was not handling it well.  As hard as I tried I couldn’t bring my yoga to work with me.  Although I really wanted to, I couldn’t be fully present.

Then one day it literally flowed out of me.  All the doubt and fear I had pent up.  All the worry that made me think I couldn’t do the job as well as I wanted.  Luckily, the person sitting across from me looked right at me and really listened.   Told me I wasn’t alone.

After a week of some pretty intense soul searching I realized that my being able to have that conversation were vulnerability and courage in action.  It was a willingness to open myself to the unknown of that moment, to the possibility that they would think I was completely off base, and being OK with that.

Vulnerability is tough.  It’s constantly pushing against the edge of your comfort zone.  It requires courage to open yourself to the unknown, to the possibility of failure or rejection.  Embracing vulnerability is saying it is worth it even if I fail.  It’s being all in.  And I whole heartedly want to be all in, living every day, not settling because I’m afraid of what might or might not happen.  Practicing my yoga is being present to the things that turn out as I hope and willing to learn from the things that don’t.

Vulnerability and courage are proving to be invaluable teachers.  They have taught me that I’m both stronger and softer than I thought.  That failure is a beautiful option.  That as I keep pushing against those edges I become more me.