Often when I try new or challenging poses I feel how I harden myself, not only physically but also (and maybe especially) mentally. Then, when I realise that I could also soften while doing the pose, everything changes! All of the sudden I can feel a sort of comfort, an acceptance, my body changes and seems to 'melt' into the pose more. And as my mind releases, let's go, I find peace in whatever it is I'm doing.
Now I realised that I can not only have those moments in my yoga practice but also 'when life throws me curve balls'. My first reaction when something unexpected or uncomfortable happens is to brace, to harden. But when I realise that I can soften, let go, and accept whatever changed situation I find myself in, my life seems to open up and instead of braced or anxious, I feel liberated.