Resistant attitudes interfere with the sense of creativity and connection that can come from yoga practice. If you notice frustration, struggle, or other types of resistance as you practice, you can use this as a time to connect with the body and breath. Slow down. Pay attention. Care for yourself by not rushing through the postures. In fact, this may be a posture to take even more time with. It is where resistant attitudes come up that we can find some good work that deepens our practice and sense of ourselves.
So how do we train the mind to stay with our experience when we feel like resisting? It does take training. If it is hard at first, no big deal. Just keep trying. That is practice, right? You can do this practice by bringing your attention to your breath. Notice where you feel the sensations of breathing in the body and see if you can remain with the attention there. Notice what muscles are doing the work, and how the breath supports them. If this seems difficult to literally feel in the body, simplify the pose you are working on (if you need to) and slow down.
It can sometimes take a little time to develop a strong sense of where the sensations in the body are for each of the poses. You may even notice it is easier to feel the muscles moving or working in one pose, but not in another. Remember that you can bring your sense of play and curiosity to this experience. It is just about what you actually feel in the moment. It is not about what you are “supposed to feel” according to someone else. See what your own experience is.
As you play with this today, try working with two poses that are not as challenging for you, and in between those add two poses that are challenging or even difficult. See if you find it easier to stay focused on the sensations in the body with the challenging poses or the not-so-challenging. Rather than asking why or analyzing your experience… just notice and stay with what you actually feel in the body.
Yoga Pose of the Day: Garland – Malasana
Yogic Concept of the Day: When feeling resistance, I slow down and increase my awareness of the sensations in the body.