As the outdoor season begins, I have returned after an afternoon on the rocks with hands that feel swollen and burn, waking me through the night. It was a day of pushing past the discomfort of the sharp granite crystals digging into and shredding my skin. The cold nature of rock freezing my hands and my persistence in warming only to grab that harsh granite again and again.
As I being to move on my mat through postures, I gradually rest longer in a pose. I allow the mind in all it's ferocousity tell me to come out of the pose. I argue relentlessly with myself. "I have been here long enough. What do you mean, stay longer?!? I will probably fall out if I stay."
Tapas. That is what the Yogis call this battle of will and discipline. It is an inner heat that drives one to stay the course when the mind begins to say we have had enough.
There is a part of us that is pure will, inner fire and then there is the mind. When the mind leads, the will often takes a back seat. It is the mind that has the climber look down or at their belayer before letting go. The heart, the spirit, or will has the climber still moving upward when they have already started falling.
Notice - are you listening to the mind? Or that inner drive to push yourself to fallure?