What is holding back your Yoga practice?

Long ago I wrote an entry about some aspects of the yoga that is difficult to learn through online classes. I spoke of physical aspects How to learn to explore your limits, to distinguish the intensity of pain o to use this as feedback. Today I'd like to discuss, following the excellent essay of Joel Kramer: Yoga as Self-Transformation, some psychological factors that it may be holding back our practice. Writes Noelia Insa.

meditation stress

For thousands of years, the Yoga It has been a powerful instrument of transformation and growth. However, those who practice it, we face many times circumstances that hinder this process of change. The own resistance to changeour habits or lifestyles, the comparisons... are factors that hinder the transformation. On the other hand, let us conscious evolution that it is taking place in our own, allows us to understand also changes us around, and we gradually come to understand that we are part of the whole.


In yoga we are facing many kinds of resistance: there may be some resistance in the muscles and the body in general, but most of the things that limit or hinder our practice resides in the mind rather than in the body. The mental resistance It can take many forms: excuses, forgetfulness, laziness or you can even manifest itself as one disease or one injury. Minimize the mental strength is the key to overcome the physical resistance.

Observe what we resist can give us much information about ourselves. We can ask ourselves: Why do I do yoga? Do I do it for fear of disease, aging, death? Or is the? ambition that feeds my practice? I practice because I sense overcome me, stand above the rest of the people, appear youth, make health or beauty? Of course, we all have fears and ambitions, and to some extent they may be positive. The problem is when the fear paralyses us and ambition pushes us too. The risk is that we let these emotions to take control of our yoga. When this happens, the mind is oriented towards the past or to the future, so that We forget the true essence of yoga: exist here and now with a mind calm.


As we move forward in life all we accumulate a series of habits of behavior. These habits are useful in many cases, help us to sort our actions toward a goal, give us security. The problem is when these habits begin to dominate our lives in a way unconsciousbecome filters through which we look at the present. This makes us to operate in automatic mode, such as machines. And, in the words of Joel Kramer: si miss the present, Miss everything there is. (If you miss the present, you miss all there really is.)

On the other hand, habits they shake our mind. In so far as they show us a way to follow, they limit our creativity. A rigid mind limits the range of what is possible or not for us. Our beliefs, values, mental attitudes, desires, etc., build our self-image, which then determines what we think and how we behave. Through yoga, we are aware of these habits of thought: we pass them, and with this we defeated them, disclaim his yoke, automatic conditioning operating upon us. And so, increasing our awareness, we expanded our freedom.

Other times we persist in our bad habits without knowing why. How many times have you ever wondered: why I can not quit, or why as no hunger while I see television? Why persevere in? self-destructive behaviors? Part of the answer is that our impulse of self destruction feeds on immediate pleasures even if the result is negative, i.e. choosing momentary gratification against the long-term benefit. And this is when many people ask me: but Why do I have to stop drinking wine or eating meat to do yoga? My answer is always the same: YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IT, IF YOU DO NOT WANT. In fact this response contains a trap, because I know that you late or early, if they continue with their practice, these people will want to, will choose to stop consuming wine or meat in excess, will choose to quit, they will opt for a healthier lifestyle, in a way volunteer. This is one of the greatest gifts that yoga makes us: pushes us towards what is most appropriate and beneficial for ourselves.

Yoga makes you more sensitive to life, and makes you prefer what benefits your health.

Competition and comparison

We often say that yoga is a non-competitive practice. However, our mind has a competitive side that we cannot ignore. The urge to compete is probably enrolled in our genes as mammals that we are doomed to survive in a hostile environment and insufficient resources for all. For this reason, It is difficult to fight against this desire for competition. Even may not be beneficial for us to treat of suppress our competitiveness: If we say we compete is bad, we will feel guilty when we look at this natural impulse within us, and will try to hide it. This can have negative effects, as long as is repressed emotion. Therefore, you should accept that our mind is competitive, explore this aspect of our nature, so that it not works unconsciously.

Perhaps one way of confronting it, is distinguish competence of comparison. The comparison is absolutely acceptable and necessary. To advance we need to compare us. Compare us with ourselves, our current self with our me former, our practice of today with that of yesterday or last year. Compare us with others: the learning process requires teacher to observe and compare our results with theirs. The comparison It is an indispensable and very useful tool in the sense that It provides us with very valuable information. Therefore the comparison is positive and should be used as a source of feedback.


Yoga is essentially a look into our interior to respond to the timeless question of who am I?. When you figure in the deepest regions of your being, reach a knowledge not only about yourself as individual, but also you as part of the fabric of life. You understand that change It is inherent to all that exists and therefore also to yourself. The movement It is the essence of energy, of relationships, of growth.

The evolution It is the way in which this movement is expressed in the universe. It can be understood as the change of forms towards more complexity and adaptability.

Yoga helps us to overcome the fallacy of the separation, a comprender que formamos parte del todo, que no existimos separadamente sino que formamos parte del universo, y que nuestra propia evolución se integra en el gran proceso evolutivo de la vida.

Si conseguimos hacernos conscientes de estos factores, nuestra práctica de yoga podrá progresar y convertirse en un verdadero instrumento de transformación y crecimiento.



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By • 11 Dec, 2015 • Sección: Signatures