I was in a yoga class a few weeks ago when the instructor told me how she had been taught by her own instructor that child's pose, the place of relaxation and rest when the class gets too tough, was the most courageous pose of all.
I have known since I started my practice years ago that yoga doesn't reward bravado. Your time on the mat isn't about being the best in the room, stretching the farthest, staying in an inversion the longest.
Our human tendency toward pettiness or jealousy will still rise to the surface at times, though, making it difficult to eradicate when we need to rest. It's all too easy to start comparing yourself to others in the room. To feel like you won't give your body the rest it's screaming for because you don't want to appear weak, or to be judged by others in the room. The problem with this line of thinking? Once you allow it to infiltrate your brain, it opens the door to millions of other self conscious thoughts.
By allowing fear and doubt to dictate your decision making in your yoga practice, you're unleashing it on the rest of your life.
So have courage. Retreat to child's pose when your body feels weak and weathered in class. Put your head on the mat and focus on your breath. And take that pose with you outside of the class.
When your heart feels heavy and overflowing, allow it to rest. Give it a break and some space. Same principle applies to your mind. To your friendships and relationships. To your inspiration, your creativity, your journalling practice. Whatever it is that you're butting up against and wherever you might be encountering resistance, consider rest. With your forehead on the proverbial mat, gulping down air and releasing judgement, you'll find a new way to return.
You'll re-enter the flow when it feels right and natural, and those around you will always welcome you back in.