When practised regularly, yoga provides several benefits to our mental and physical health. However, the road to success doesn’t come without certain obstacles. Throughout your journey, you’ll encounter various pitfalls that test your patience, skills and dedication. Thankfully, there are various ways to embrace and overcome these obstacles and come out the other side as a stronger practitioner. In this article, we explore some of the most common obstacles and discuss how to put on your yoga bra and overcome them. If you want to know more about embracing and overcoming obstacles in yoga, keep reading!
According to yogic texts, the most common obstacles in yoga are those listed below.
The first obstacle is Vyadhi, which translates to illness or disease. Whether you’re suffering from a mental or physical illness, it’s difficult to practice yoga if you’re sick. This obstacle can be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle to keep your body in good health. If you do get sick, take some time out to rest before returning to yoga when you’ve recovered.
The second obstacle is Styana, which translates to procrastination. No matter how dedicated we are to the practice, there will be times when motivation trails off. This can often cause us to make excuses for not practising as regularly as we’d like. To overcome procrastination, try switching things up. If you feel yourself becoming bored with your routine, try something new to keep things fresh. If you’re looking forward to practising yoga, you’ll remain motivated throughout the seasons.
The third obstacle is Sanshaya, which causes you to doubt your capability or the result of yoga. If you begin to doubt yourself, take a minute to remember everything you’ve achieved. Think about how far you’ve come since you started your yoga journey and remember that you can achieve great things with time and dedication.
The fourth obstacle is Pramada, which translates to carelessness. If you approach yoga without care, your practice will become erratic and cause negative results. To overcome carelessness, take your time with every aspect of the practice. Instead of rushing, approach each pose with care, respect and devotion to achieve the results you’re hoping for.
The fifth obstacle is Alasya, which translates to laziness. To succeed in yoga, you need to apply discipline, will-power and dedication to each session. Laziness will slow down your success and prevent you from achieving your highest potential. If you feel yourself becoming lazy, take a minute to work out why that is. Are you particularly tired? Are you feeling unwell? Or are you becoming bored with your practice? If you’re tired or unwell, take some time to rest and recharge your batteries. If you’re bored with your regular practice, try something new to shake things up.
The sixth obstacle is Avirati, which translates to overindulgence. This obstacle can also be explained as an attachment to pleasurable things. To overcome this, we must learn how to let go of our attachments to physical objects and desire. Remember what is important in life and let go of anything that doesn’t provide happiness or make your life easier.
The seventh obstacle is Bhrantidarshan, which can be explained as a false vision or a premature sense of certainty. If you develop a false notion about the practice and its outcome, you can be led off the true path and also face harm and disappointment. To overcome this obstacle, don’t expect too much from the practice. Instead, relax and see where it takes you.
The eighth obstacle is Alabdha–bhumikatva, which is the non-attainment of the next yogic accomplishment. This obstacle is caused by poor practice and results in the feeling of being stuck. To overcome this, avoid moving too quickly. Instead of rushing each yogic stage, take time to fully get to grips with each area before moving onto the next. This will ensure you become a well-rounded practitioner and have no problem progressing when you’re ready.
The final obstacle is Anawasthitatwa, which can be explained as instability or non-permanence of a yogic stage or accomplishment. Essentially, Anawasthitatwa means that you cannot maintain an attained stage and end up moving backwards. In most cases, this is the result of poor or faulty practice and can be overcome by taking the necessary time and care.
The 9 obstacles above are seen as the primary obstacles in yoga. When any of these are encountered, four minor obstacles may also appear. These are Duhkha, which means pain or sorrow; Daurmanasya, which means depression or pain caused by non-fulfilment; Angamejayatwa, which is the shivering of parts of the body; and Shvâsa–prashvâsa, which is breath retention that causes an irregular breathing pattern. To be successful in yoga, you will need to embrace and overcome these obstacles. They can appear at any time throughout your practice and are likely to reappear until you learn how to overcome them. The key to removing these obstacles is to simply see past them. Instead of getting bogged down, embrace the struggle and let it pass naturally with time. As long as you’re taking note of the tips above, you should be back to your normal self in no time.
So, there you have it – all you need to know about embracing and overcoming obstacles in yoga. If you feel yourself becoming lazy or uninterested in your practice, try something new to switch things up. If your practice is enjoyable, putting on your yoga top and hitting the mat will never feel like a chore.