“That which is to give light must endure burning.” – Viktor Frankl

One of my teachers, Mukunda Stiles, said to his students:

There is something holding you back from shining. Let it go. Do whatever it takes to have that veil lifted. Even if you have to do that practice a million and one times.

That practice for me is asana (yoga postures). During asana practice, I’m faced with physical discomfort and my inability to escape my own thoughts, so I’m left with no other option than growth. Hold the pose just one more breath… and then another…

So when a student told me on Sunday that she wasn’t finding a lot of comfort in the yoga poses I shared I wondered if it this was a good sign. Tapasya (austerities) often brings us to a place of discomfort from which progress is made. Yoga teaches us that we have tools to deal with our own discomfort in a productive way, rather than escaping sensations or situations. With these tools, we become skilled in managing discomfort and we start to burn our desire for comfort. We start to burn away desire itself. Like one of my teachers said last week, “Let it cook.”

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