Your yoga bag is packed. You’ve been hydrating all day. You even had a lighter lunch, so it wouldn’t get in the way of your practice. You’re halfway to the studio and still you feel it. You want to turn the car around and go home. Or instead run an errand. Or stop and eat tacos. Anything, but practice.
Why is this happening? you think to yourself. I’ve been preparing all day to get on my mat and now every cell in my body is telling me to forget about it and do something else. I love yoga. Yoga is my favorite part of my week. So, why all of the resistance?
Sound familiar? At least five times a week I hear a student sigh as they walk through the doors and proclaim, “I almost didn’t come, but I made it here anyway.”
I’m always glad they chose to fight through the resistance in their mind and their body and end up on their mat that day. It’s a bigger deal than they might believe. It’s a huge deal, actually.
When you feel a ton of resistance to practicing yoga, it’s a surefire signal that you are on the brink of some big changes. Your practice is about to go a whole heck of a lot deeper, or the hip that always nags at you is about to heal, or you might finally understand some tiny nuance of a posture, or even, truly tune into the magic of your breath. It’s about to happen – the BIG changes you’ve been working for – and the body is not too happy about it.
Why not? Well, let me break it down for you. Every thought you think creates a chemical reaction in the body. You’ve been thinking the same thoughts for years. Your body is addicted to the chemistry it has created through the thoughts you think.
You go to yoga and some of the thoughts you think change. You begin to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Critical thoughts, with acceptance. And the body chemistry has to change. This is how yoga helps you heal.
BUT, the body likes the way it was before. It doesn’t think you need to change. It was pretty used to the way things were. And so… it creates resistance to the practice. And it is your job to go beyond it, to tell the Universe you’re ready for something new, and get on your mat anyway.
If you want big changes, you will have to have will power, tenacity, and persistence. You must always take the chance to take a step forward, to be open to trying something new, to keep learning.
I am not saying you should never take a break. If you need a break, please be good to your Self and take it. But then get back to it. Don’t let the break turn into a week, or a month, or even a year.
There will always be resistance to the things that have the ability to change us, yoga included. Make a choice for You, go beyond the complacency of the body, and show up – again and again.
(These thoughts are inspired from books, such as: You are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza and You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay)
Yoga Story of the Week
Home Studio: Bikram Yoga Aurora
A friend of mine, who is East Indian by birth, invited me to attend a yoga class, around 2005, in Ottawa, Canada, of all places, during a business trip. As a long-time gym-rat and retired weekend sports warrior, I thought it sounded like a way to fend off getting in shape (round being the shape). It was quite a challenge, mentally and physically. I’ve never been very flexible and I was definitely lacking stamina that first class. But I was intrigued. I started attending Bikram Yoga in Naperville for a year or so. My record was 5 classes in 8 days (including a New Year’s Eve class that ended at midnight).
Going to yoga a couple times a week seemed to give me more energy overall, my core strength improved, and I lost a fair amount of weight. Even though it was usually an ordeal, I enjoyed it and found the “filling station” bit to be pretty true. It seemed like a good way to “reset.”
(Pictured below: Ed & his daughter Kelly)
Why do you continue practicing yoga? Well, I stopped after a year or so the first time. The primary reason was the time it took to get to the studio and back (not to mention the 90-minutes and mandatory shower time). Then about five years ago, Bikram You Aurora opened it’s doors and it was only five minutes from our house! My wife and I tried a 30-day trial. I was hooked and it wasn’t too long before Eileen was also fairly regular. Our daughter Kelly (aka “Bendy”) joined for a while. For the last year, it’s been a family affair – with Kelly going 5-6 times a week, me on pace for my second 200+ class year in a row, and we drag Eileen with us as often as possible. The broadening of our class offerings, such as Inferno Hot Pilates, Next Level, and Hot 26 Plus, has been a tremendous boon to the studio and the variety has increased our interest even further. In addition to the physical and mental aspects of the poses themselves, the studio is like a little community, with uniformly positive, inspiring instructors. Pilates has added a whole new dynamic, with the music, before and after chit chat, and encouragement of making noise in class! At this point, I couldn’t imagine NOT doing yoga and Pilates several times a week. We’re going to Arizona for a long weekend soon… and we already have our temporary studio picked out. The time commitment is significant, but it’s the best of vices, and as they say “it keeps us out of trouble.” And Thursdays is usually Subway night after class, because, darn it, we earned it!
Check out more inspiring Views from the Podium Yoga Stories here.
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Saturday, March 2nd – Arm Balancing Workshop, 12:30pm-1:30pm at FUEL: Mind to Body in Glenview, IL. Sign up now!
Saturday, March 16th – Arm Balancing Workshop, 12:30pm-1:30pm at Bikram Yoga Aurora in Aurora, IL. Sign up now!
Saturday, April 27th – Original Hot Yoga 26&2 Workshop – 10am class, 12:30-2:30 Workshop at Pure Yoga GR in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More details to follow.