Many people focus on the past or the future to avoid experiencing the present, often because the present is painful or difficult to endure. In yoga class, many students think that they must simply “grit their teeth and bear it” until the teacher tells them they can come out of the asana. This is seeing yoga as calisthenics and is the wrong attitude. The pain is there as a teacher, because life is filled with pain. In the struggle alone, there is knowledge. Only when there is pain will you see the light. Pain is your guru. As we experience pleasures happily, we must also learn not to lose our happiness when pain comes. As we see good in pleasure, we should learn to see good in pain. Learn to find comfort even in discomfort. We must not try to run from the pain but to move through and beyond it. This is the cultivation of tenacity and perseverance, which is a spiritual attitude toward yoga. This is also the spiritual attitude toward life.

(Iyengar)

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