The Difference Between Pain and Discomfort

January 15, 2015 | by Michelle Meier

Learn to listen to your body and to heal from within.

Those of you who follow me know that I recently healed myself from a non-yoga related wrist injury through the power of belief.

Somehow I slept oddly on my shoulder and awoke today with that same feeling of numbness and tingling running up my arm that I had after my injury.

I refused to give in to the fear that, "oh, no, what if I really haven't fully healed?" and firmly came back to what I truly believe...that, YES, I am entirely healed.

I'd simply slept in an odd position. 

Before my practice today, I did extra wrist stretches, being mindful of what felt good and what I needed more of until I felt ready to strength train again. I'm continuing to work on my strength for arm-balances. Today it's Astavakrasana, Eight Angle Pose.

Make no mistake, I'm not advocating to ignore when you have pain and to push beyond it. We should never push ourselves to the point of injury or re-injury. 

However, we must learn the difference between pain and discomfort.

Pain is the body's way of signaling us to pay attention to something we must address. Discomfort is simply pointing out to us what we need to work through so we can grow.

Our bodies are always trying to communicate with us.  Being bombarded with external sources trying to grab our attention (emails, phone calls, social media, our bosses, our partners, our kids, etc.), it can be difficult to tune into the voice within. Yoga not only teaches us to learn to listen but how to respond.

Learning to listen to your body, with all its subtleties and complexities, is vital to your health and wellbeing.  

And pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is vital to your growth and transformation.