Finding Comfort in Discomfort
On this episode, I had a chat with Beth Davis, a global Yoga instructor. We had an thoughtful discussion about the importance of finding comfort in discomfort.
Our Recent Guest - Beth Davis, Global Yoga Instructor
Beth is a yoga teacher from Canada, presently sharing her practice, her spirituality, and her life.
She is happiest moving courageously though her life with love and something to focus her energy on. She found yoga at a time in her life when she was suffering from anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The practice of asana quickly began to change her life. It provided her with a foundation that she could trust in. She enjoys using her body as a gateway to the present, allowing the past and the future to slip away quietly. Many of her accomplishments on her mat have come simply from her belief that she should be able to succeed because she was born with everything that she needed.
She has completed more than 1500 hours of training and continues to study with knowledgeable teachers in the industry, including Kim Tang & Esak Garcia. She has been teaching yoga full time in Asia, Europe and North America since she graduated almost 10 years ago.
Her competence as a teacher comes from experience. But the passion and drive for what she does comes from within her.
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Important Discussion Points
Find Comfort in Discomfort | Question 1 - When you say "our potential", what is our potential?
I think it's unlimited, unlimited potential power. Like anything that you could possibly want to achieve physically, mentally, emotionally. I think that if you can imagine it, you've entered the workshop of creation. And now, you're touching into your spirit and once you're in touch with creation, your spirit then anything becomes possible, yeah.
Find Comfort in Discomfort | Question 2 - Now, I feel like you're the appropriate person to ask this having taught at a global scale, having taught thousands of people. Who is Yoga for?
Everybody, absolutely everybody. There's seven billion people, more than that now, and I would like to see seven billion people doing Yoga, which means there are probably seven billion different types of Yoga. One of my favorite speakers, Jack Westar Thorp, says if you're a practicing rabbit, you are rabbit. You're not trying to be a rabbit and you are every single version of rabbit that ever existed, and there's no wrong rabbits. So you didn't walk down the street and see a rabbit, think well, that one's wrong and that rabbit’s right. It's the same as a posture. So it's getting that understanding that every single asana we practice is right and the benefit is coming from the practice itself, not from the execution of the perfect posture or the perfect breath.
It's just the practice in itself that brings, about the contentment or the acceptance or the awareness or the realization that ultimately we're looking for.
Find Comfort in Discomfort | Question 3 - It seems like we are in a state where a lot of us are suffering from not necessarily issues, but we're struggling with mental health. For somebody that is looking to take control of their mental health, what could you do to encourage this individual to start taking control?
One of the ways I live my life is I have a belief that each of us has a choice in how we live our life, and we can live our lives as a victim or as a creator. And what I mean by that is, we can be a victim of everything that happens to us or we can be responsible for the creation that we are creating in front of us. And so it's teaching people how to move from the frequency of victim to the frequency of creator, and that has a lot to do with control.
So I think most people are really busy trying to control everything that surrounds them their environment and not recognizing that the goal actually is to control themselves. And that is ultimately Yoga. We learn first through an asana practice or a posture, how to control our body in that posture, and then we learn how to control our breath. Perhaps one day, we control our heart rate, and ultimately the goal is to control your digestion, your liver, your kidneys, control your circulatory system. Start actually controlling your body so that you're able to create what's happening in the outside world around you.
Yea, it's getting people quiet enough to actually start doing that, that self-work and learning how to control themselves. I think that's the biggest part of giving them control of their own health.
Find Comfort in Discomfort | Question 4 - What about somebody who is, at the very beginning, hesitant to go into a studio and practice with a bunch of other individuals and they want to self-practice at home. Is there anything, what are their resources in terms of doing it right, knowing what they're doing?
I don't think there is a right, I don't believe in right or wrong. I think it's taking a first step, and there's a million different paths that we could go in. So I guess that I would encourage them just to take a path, take a step, find a friend or a family member who would come with you to take the first class. There are private Yoga instructors out there, they're not common, but you can definitely search them out. We do have a few really good ones in Calgary. I've had a lot of students that come for a couple of sessions and feel more comfortable to walk into a group session at that point.
I think it's really important to mention a lot of people, the nerves come that people are going to watch them, people are gonna see what they're doing. Yeah, and that's, I mean as soon as you go to your first couple, you realize oh no one's watching me, everybody's having their own struggle. And that's a part of the beauty of being in a Yoga space is that people do respect that, we're all having a struggle and we all need to work through that struggle, and it's a safe space to do so.
Find Comfort in Discomfort | Question 5 - If you're practicing at home and you are feeling that cramp how would you cue that individual through that pain or that cramp?
I would tell them just to stay and breathe. That's it. Stay and breathe with the cramp. I mean nothing atrocious is going to happen, right? And that's the thing for a lot of us, is we snap out of it so quickly that we don't even realize nothing atrocious is even gonna happen if I’m staying there. So that's what I would encourage people to do. I find a lot of people, I mean it's not just with cramps. People are fearful of their bodies these days. You know, I'll say try this... “I'm scared”. How about this... “I'm scared”. And for me, it's like wow, such a disconnect. Like that's your physical body. Let's try 1% the correct way, and then spend some time at 1%. And if that felt okay, tomorrow let's try 2% in that direction.