No Pain No Gain … A Yogic Dictum?


I stumbled across this nice article entitled No Pain No Gain, which points out what it really take for us to transcend our limitations and achieve greatness.

… and you might be very surprised to know where the article came from. Read it first, and then I’ll tell you who wrote it.

[Article Excerpt]

“No Pain, No Gain.” Is this aphorism just a fitness myth and downright bad advice? A lot of people seem to think so. … but I have another perspective to offer you. Success is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and that means embracing a little pain along the way.

To reach higher levels you must approach … your entire life as an endeavour in constant growth. The ultimate truth is, you are either moving forward or moving backward; growing or dying. There’s no such thing as comfortably maintaining.To grow, you must step above past achievements; beyond your perceived boundaries and limits. That means stepping out of the known, into the unknown; out of the familiar and into the unfamiliar; out of the comfortable into the uncomfortable. You must get out of your comfort zone.

The Late Cavett Robert, who was founder of the National Speakers Association, said something I’ll never forget:

“Most people are running around their whole lives with their umbilical cords in their hands, looking for some place to plug it back in.”

Most people are scared of the new, unknown and unfamiliar. They prefer to stay in that womb of comfort. When the going gets tough; when a little more effort is needed, when the work gets hard, they always pull back into safety. But the extraordinary people do the opposite. They know they have to get out of the comfort zone and into new territory or they’ll stagnate and die.

Here’s a little quote that you should post somewhere you will always see it:

“Do what you always did, get what you always got.”

You can’t grow or change by doing what you’ve already done. You’ve got to make new efforts just to prevent yourself from going backwards.

Still, most people won’t leave their comfort zones. They won’t do it in business, they won’t do it in their personal lives. They won’t do it for personal health and fitness. Why? The answer is simple… Because it hurts.

By definition, what’s it like outside the comfort zone? It’s UN-COMFORTABLE, right? Change is uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s physically painful, but it’s always mentally and emotionally painful, in the form of discipline, sacrifice, uncertainty and fear …

The maxim, “no pain no gain” gets knocked all the time as if it were bad advice. The fact of life is that you don’t grow unless you are constantly stepping outside the comfort zone, and outside the comfort zone is discomfort and pain.

It’s mostly the non-achievers who make out “no pain, no gain” to be a bad thing. But the winners get it. The champions understand stepping outside the comfort zone in a healthy context, so they embrace it …

———— END EXCERPT ————

Editor’s Note:
I tell my students that yoga is NOT a gruelling discipline, but it IS a demanding one in which we must recognize the necessity of “some pain for gain,” as the author of the above article has so plainly illustrated.

OK, are you ready to know where it came from?

It’s an excerpt from an article entitled “No Pain No Gain: Fitness Myth or Ultimate Fitness Truth?” written by Tom Venuto, a bodybuilding champion with 25 years of bodybuilding training, competition and coaching experience.

That’s right! It was an article by a bodybuilding champion, talking about how to make your muscles grow bigger!

The muscle building approach to bodily health and fitness may not quite mirror our yogic philosophy, but these surprising “yogic words” from this accomplished athlete are no less profound and true!

I’ll leave you with a few final words of Universal Wisdom from Tom Venuto …

“Embrace discomfort like the champions do. Soon it subsides, you enjoy the benefits of the change and the pain is forgotten. You’ve reached a new, higher plateau of achievement. Enjoy the view for a short while. But be on guard because it’s not long before that higher level becomes your new comfort zone and then its time to press on again.”

Virya : A Yoga Perspective on Courage and Virtue

This interview with Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Acharya of Ananda Ashram and the International Center for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER), is a wonderful discourse on yogic resolve and the essentials qualities for growth and evolution.

Virya : A Yoga Perspective on Courage and Virtue from Christoph on Vimeo.

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