I am sure we have all heard the word ‘resistance’ used in several yoga classes.
We are often encouraged to let go of the resistance we may feel and just be in the moment, in the pose, in the flow. This is great advise for class and for our daily life but there are times where resistance may not be a bad thing…
I personally think that resistance is not something we need to avoid like the plague, but we need to understand where it comes from and if it is appropriate. If you are a person that never says “no”, taking on more than you can handle, you will be overwhelmed. Another example is our own body’s immune system helping resist illness and germs. Without it, you will be constantly sick and unable to live a healthy life. The trick lies in recognizing when resistance has valid merits as a form of protection (physically, mentally and emotionally) and when it is getting in our way.
The irony comes when we resist the opportunities to embrace what life has to offer and the endless opportunities to explore and fulfill our fullest potential. Often times, many of us not only resist something unpleasant, but we also find ourselves holding back at opportunities to grow for our greatest good.
Resistance on a personal level can be quite complex. When we are not aware of it, resistance can continue to hold us back… “What we resist persist” and unfortunately it will continue to hold us back until we do something about it. Only when we begin to identify our own emotional, physical or mental resistance levels, we can begin to take the necessary steps to let it go when needed.
As human, we are creatures of habit and change can be difficult to accept, especially when certain patterns are deeply rooted in our subconscious. By becoming the observer through meditation, we begin to identify the source of our resistance. A great way to find answers is by asking, “What am I resisting?” daily and allowing ourselves to spend some quiet time to listen and see what comes up.
If we listen carefully, resistance usually has useful information. It can provide us with the insight we need to move forward and be free. Sometimes resistance comes from fear or from the un-willingness to work hard at letting go of something deeply rooted within us. It can come as a form of our body telling us to slow down or that is time do something different. We cannot continue to do the same thing expecting different results.
The more you take the time to investigate and listen to what resistance is telling you, the easier it becomes to work with it.
When we understand resistance in our lives, bodies and personal practices, we may find freedom in ways we never thought possible.
Photo credit: Resistance
Adri Kyser E-RYT 500 is a Prana Flow yoga teacher and Power Pilates instructor. Adri’s classes are fun, dynamic and inspiring. During her classes, she invites you to surrender and let go of inhibitions allowing you to find your natural and innate flow. For more information please visit here website.
Edited by Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor.