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If It Doesn't Challenge You, It Won't Change You..Anonymous

Do you love your comfort zone? That place where everything feels cozy and certain. The space where you can confidently walk around in the pitch black of night and know your toes are safe from danger. I love my comfort zone. I find that the older I get, the harder I must work to push myself to the edges and past my zone of comfort. My apartment, my wardrobe, my choice of vacation spots, I find that it is harder to bring new things in and even to embrace the latest technology.

I have found one beautiful benefit of yoga is that it provides a space to challenge

comfort zones in a way that may feel familiar, but in its subtlety is creating change simply by being with the practice. When I step on the mat, it feels safe and familiar. It is my morning ritual that kicks off my day and can set my mind and attitude. What I don’t always see is the ways in which it affects my life off the mat. The way that I no longer react when asked to wait longer than desired for a service. The way that I stop and smell the roses (yes literal roses), or notice the song of a finch when out on my morning walk. The sense of presence and contentment that has started to permeate my life even when it seems very far from the one that initially planned.

Yoga has begun to bring me peace and unity. Peace with myself for not knowing, peace with my family for not understanding, peace for the neighbor for their lack of awareness. Unity with those I encounter as I can now see that they are struggling to be present and peaceful as I am. Unity with communities around the world as I see and feel their struggles for freedoms that I use with little to no thought. Unity with myself as I notice my shortcomings and mistakes, yet remind myself that to show compassion and love towards myself is the first step to doing the same within my micro and macro communities.

Where has your yoga practice expanded the lens of your life off your mat? I invite you to pause and take a deep breath in and as you exhale close your eyes and connect to the ways in which you may feel more peace and unity since your practice began. This exercise is not meant to bring up your “shoulds”, but to pause and reflect on the small changes that may be appearing in your life that are so subtle you haven’t really noticed. It is taking a break in the day to reflect and see how your comfort zone may be expanding without you even noticing. It just is. That is the beauty of just is.

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