In yoga, you will inevitably encounter challenging postures and movements that might even cause you to avoid them altogether. For example, you may find that Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) is extremely challenging—and you wouldn’t be alone! Those poses that are most challenging tend to be the ones we need to be doing on a regular basis.

If you change your attitude from one of avoidance to one of curiosity, you will find that the challenging parts of yoga can be your greatest teachers. When you change your perspective of challenges as a way to move through them rather than away from them, your entire practice can change.

This is also true off the mat. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to grow. Embracing your vulnerabilities—on and off the mat—is a powerful practice that will help you not only get to know yourself better, but also help you to experience life in a new way.

The next time you reach that dreaded pose, instead of heading to the bathroom, adjusting your yoga pants, or staring at “that one person” who does it perfectly, find your breath and take the pose. Every. Single. Time. One day, a few weeks or a few months down the road, you will realize that your relationship to the challenge has transformed. This practice is one of the gifts of yoga. Use it on your mat, and then try it in your life.