I am a resistant yoga student.

So are you.

We all are. It’s just part of the process.
I might be just a little more resistant than you though. My first hot yoga class was a nightmare. I remember hating the teacher, resisting everything she said, and being angry afterward, for years. Yoga takes us on a journey to ourselves. It was through noticing my resistance in yoga, that I realized I am this way everywhere. I want things to be the way I want them to be, and when they are not, I fight and struggle against what’s happening. I impose my will on it. I resist.

Even today, more than 10 years into my journey as a yoga teacher and 15 years as a student, I walk into class EVERY day and meet my resistance. The teacher calls a pose I don’t like or sequences in a way that challenges my skill or my ideas about sequencing, the pose is longer, or shorter, than I think it should be, s/he says something I find confusing or frustrating, and I’m instantly resistant.

It takes a concentrated effort to 1st, recognize my resistance rather than blame the teacher, the yoga, or the process, and 2nd, step onto my mat and do the poses anyway. My mantra: be a student Annie, be in your practice, stay out of the teacher’s business. My work on my mat is my business. How the class unfolds is the teacher’s business.

After many years of practice, with many great yoga teachers shining a light on it for me, I recognize the ways I resist:

  • Drinking water
  • Wiping sweat
  • Fixing my clothes/mat/blocks/stuff
  • Fixing other people’s poses – either in my head or for real
  • Doing a pose I prefer
  • Taking rest (when I don’t really need to rest)
  • Spacing out/checking out
  • Wiggling/fidgeting
  • Arriving late/leaving early/checking the time

There are more, but you get the idea. As my practice progresses my awareness grows. I invite you to bring awareness to your next few practices. Where do you resist what the teacher offers you? Not poses or expressions you CAN’T do, but poses or expressions you don’t want to do. The yoga has powerful benefits when done correctly. These benefits go beyond the physical. Becoming less resistant in my yoga practice has led to being less resistant in other places. The possibilities that have opened up have been life-changing. I wonder what you’ll discover when you meet your resistance?