Five years ago, upon completing a 200-hour, 30-day intensive yoga teacher-training course, we took this group photo. Painted on the wall behind us are the words, “Feel pain? Change positions.” At that time in my life, my understanding of this assertion was shallow: if it feels as though something is ripping, pulling, or tearing, move out of the yoga pose. But as for other physical and emotional pain, I had been taught to sit with it and accept it, and by doing so I would demonstrate strength and continue to grow stronger. Turning away from pain seemed cowardly. It wasn’t until this program that I learned that pain is one of many expressions of feeling that carries inherent wisdom, and learning to feel fully and to respond appropriately is the essence of sustainability.
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McGrew, Elizabeth D., "Turning Toward Feeling" (2015). SR & SC Masters Projects. Paper 2.
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