Murky Waters Ahead

I don't know why, but I woke up wanting to be challenged today.
So, I found a nice little anusara class online (one that involved lots of hip openers) and began my practice. Little did I know how much would come to the surface because of this seemingly insignificant choice (to take this particular class). See, the hing is, I am not particularly fond of all hip openers (infact, I have a very thriving love/hate relationship with pigeon) but I also know that I really need more of them in my life, which was exactly what led me to pick this practice today.
The teacher (a lovely soul by the way) started class by telling a story, and by asking us all to be present, open up to grace, and say "yes" rahter than our usual "no". So, as we began, I kept reminding myself to really let go, be present, open up to grace, and say yes. And the practice felt beautiful, I kept thinking "I can do anything! I am super yogi!" and then, we came to pigeon... and the super yogi's brave heart skipped a beat. I immediately submerged myself in a lake of fear, anger, pain, resistance and resentment toward the teacher (for putting me in this crazy pose for so freaking long) and towards myself (for feeling all these things to begin with, when I was supposed to be saying yes).
So, I swam through this lake, and submerged myslef back into it all over again as we swithced to the other leg. It was horrible. I thought my hips were going to come out of their sockets, my anger and resistance kept escalating, and all I could do was think "breathe, maybe she will bring you to savasana once she is done torturing you" So I did, I breathed my way through the lake the second time, and came up for air when the teacher said to come out of the pose.
And then, just when I thought I was safe, shazzam! Eka Pada Sirsasana (modified, leading up to full expression) I was in that lake again. I was enjoying the pose, but I was so frustrated at who knows what, that I kept pushing the happy little girl inside me away, and giving way to the closed off grump instead. I really only let that little girl come out again when I realized I was pushing her away. (which was about half way through the pose) Once I did make room for her, Eka Pada Sirsasana became a joyful experience.
Don't worry, I won't walk you through the entire practice, because it will take too long. But I will say this, by the time we were done twisting and opening our hips, and we came to sitting meditation, I was no longer angry, frustrated, scared, or closed off. I was in a blissful world. I was peaceful, happy, open, and finally able to say "yes". Yes, I see now, yes, I am willing to let go, yes I am open and vulnerable and yes, I am.
Funny thing about this class, was, that I realized how I tend to do this in my daily life. I have a tendency to look at hardships as "evils" when in reality, they are simply there to help me reach a better place. I had, of course, heard a myriad of people explain this in many different ways before, and on some level, I thought I understood and mastered this concept. But the truth is, I realize now how clueless I have been.
So, yes, it sucks to be in a bad place, it is absolutely terrifying to go through anything that will cause even the slightest pang of pain. But if we learn to breathe, observe, open up to grace, and allow the true love and peace inside to come out, then the hardships become more of a polishing (like when you need to polish silver in order to let the silvery item shine bright and clean).
And if we really learn to find a way through the murky, painful waters, we are able to swim out of them, and onto a world of possibilities, love, forgiveness, growth, and an infinite iridescence that comes from with in to guide us through the next patch of murky waters.

Easier said than done? Sure, but that is why we practice ;)

भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि ।