It’s Time to Leave The Comfort Zone

a note from guest blogger Julia Ruocco, Honor Yoga Pennington co-owner, Honor YogaPennington Studio Manager & instructor

One of the key themes I like to offer in class is about practicing outside of your comfort zone. We all know that by doing this, we grow. We change. But some of us don’t like change. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. So we stay inside our comfort zone, and do the same poses at the same level and we still get some movement in the body, right? We are still creating space and strength and flexibility right? I do this myself, often. I think, well, I only have 30 minutes for a practice and I really want to work on my grasshopper but that will take too long so I’ll just do the poses I always do at a level I always do because that’s all I have time for. I’m still practicing. Well, yes. And no. I’d step off my mat feeling that I did my duty, my practice for the day, but something was MISSING. One of my favorite quotes, spoken by Leslie Kaminoff, is “your practice should be smarter than your habits”. I had come to practice purely out of habit, never changing it up. One day, one practice the idea of doing the same routine again just because I didn’t have the time to try something new sent shivers of complacency thru my body. So I changed it up. When we change up our regular routine and pace, even if that means SLOWER than normal, than our body is moving in a different way. Outside of it’s comfort zone. Breaking our habits and patterns. Changing. Growing.

Ok so I’ve realized that and adjusted my practice accordingly. But in true spiritual growing form I got thrown the same lesson off the mat. I was running my studio habitually, trying some new things but nothing outside my comfort zone. Something was MISSING. Then I got the call. Honor yoga is opening right next to me and they want to meet with me and buy my business and have me partner, teach at, and run the new space. Comfort zone abolished. I could turn it down and stay where I am, but the thought of that sent shivers of complacency thru out my body. Challenged accepted. All the expected emotions when doing something new came up. Same emotions that might come up when doing, say, grasshopper for the first time. Excitement. Doubt. Excitement. Fear. Excitement. Courage. Fear fear fear DOUBT FEAR… Then, whether you face planted on the floor or gracefully made your way thru you feel RELEIF, SATISFACTION, ACCOMPLISHMENT, GROWTH. Regardless of the outcome, you tried something new and you feel AWESOME. You left your comfort zone.

The idea of changing is frightening, but I’m going to practice what I preach and I’m ready for the roller coaster ride of emotions. I’ve already experienced most. It’s the knowing that I decided to leave my comfort zone that makes this change, this merger with Honor Yoga, feel AWESOME.

Dana Toff
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