Pushing oneself is different for everyone - even in yoga when some teachers talk about "finding your edge" when stretching, I have to find a different focus to figure out which muscles to engage muscles to not stress my joints or ligaments. Some of the high-energy aerobic classes I liked so much before triggered fainting spells and pulled muscles. I had to learn how to focus and endure discomfort done in a slow, subtle way (forcing me to look internally) rather than in a high impact way.
Today's class focused on twists and lunges. We did a standing series that lasted probably 5 minutes or so on one single side, so my quads and glutes were burning as we held each pose - and amazingly, I stuck with the whole sequence without ending early or skipping. As I walked home, I realized around exactly around this time, 6 years ago, I tried my first yoga with my sister at home using a pre-natal yoga video. We did a bunch of high lunges in the video, and I kept whining to my sister the whole time, "It hurts!! How can you stand this!!!" As I kept falling out of the poses (from agony and imbalance), my sister said, "Shut up! This is pregnant women yoga! You can do it!" And yes, my pregnant sister was doing it!
I'm pleased now that I've learned how to cope and endure the terrible burning, how to recover when I feel my balance sway and... to not whine! Learning how to endure was learning how to push myself safely in different ways than before. Now I just need to see if the not whining part will follow off the mat, too!