Pain Management from a Yoga Master

A story about a yoga master, a peak pose, and smiling through pain


Many years ago I learned a lesson that would change my relationship with pain forever.

I was attending a yoga class in Los Angeles taught by a kundalini yoga master.

You probably know that yoga masters are really good at getting you to hold asanas for a long time. That's their little trick to get you out of identifying with the body.

So I’m in this particular asana:

dhanurasana, or rocking bow pose

While rocking back and forth on my hips like a broken baby cradle for what must’ve been 5 minutes that felt like 50.

I want to quit, I’m in so much pain, and want to cry because no one else seems to be quitting.

The best yoga teachers say just the right thing at just the right time.

“If you had to be here forever, could you find a way?”

I realized that all this pain that was happening, I was mostly causing myself, you know?

My relationship with pain, my conversation with pain, is determined by me.

Then she said: “Now if you could find a way, then could you do it with a smile?”

Pain is always there. The conversation that we have with this pain determines everything about our experience. A smile broke across my face.

I realized I can pray, “God, get me out of this suffering! This horrible situation in my life!” But if God doesn't deliver me?

Then it's my opportunity to prove that I can do it myself.

And if I can do it myself, then I'll show God I can do it with a smile.

My friend. This is the opportunity to change your relationship with pain. The conversation you have with pain.

Find a way to smile through it all. And there you will have Freedom.

There you will find the solution to all your pain. Go, my friend. Satnam. 🙏