Recognize the pain, don't praise it

So a bit ago in one of my practices my instructor was guiding us through a flow and said the phrase, "recognize the pain, don't praise it." I love this.  To me this phrase is the epitome of the difference between learning and complaining.  

In yoga it means to allow the pain to be your guide.  Give yourself the space to listen and respect what your body is ready for.  Stop and breathe when you start to feel a little pain, allow your breath to go to the pain and as you release that breath be aware as that space starts to open up. This mentality is opposed to allowing the pain to stop you.  To say to yourself, I can't do it, I can't get there, I can't do what she is doing, I feel pain, I give up.   Recognize the pain don't praise it. Allow it to guide you, allow it to allow you to respect where your body and practice are at. Allow it to be the guide that shows you what to work on next.

In life, I also love this phrase, which is typical of yoga!  What we learn and realize on the mat stays with us when our feet slip from our yoga shoes to the shower to path we walk daily.  The first thing I thought of is teaching this to my kids.  The way it applies to their bumps and bruises, in this same fashion I teach them to take deep breaths through the pain, into their lungs and belly and out though their chest then belly.  It helps.  It helps them calm themselves and gain control again.  When they are praising the pain they can't do much for it.  When they gain enough control to recognize the pain, together, we can assess what they need.  In this same way it applies to all our pain.  Praising the pain makes us a victim and being a victim only contributes to attracting more situations where we are the victim, COMPLAINING.  Recognizing the pain allows us to assess what we need, mentally, physically, spiritually.  It allows us to be aware, to know what we need next, to LEARN.  Recognize the pain, don't praise it.