Day 5: What Is Stopping You?

Today is the first Monday of the April Challenge (April started on a Thursday this year), and still there are lots of people who have yet to show up.  Easter is now over, but the weather has been all rainbows and unicorns for many days in a row, so I can totally understand the conflict of trying to decide  whether to take a Harley ride, double-dig a garden or come to yoga.  I fully expect to see all the good-weather junkies on Thursday when rain is predicted.

But there could also be Resistance to coming because of fear: fear of not being able to do it, or complete it, or even fear of starting a new addictive regimen.

What if, as a result of doing yoga for a month, you started to change in weird and unpredictable ways?  What if you started becoming one of those “weird food people,” or started drinking more water? or closing your door to your children for a few minutes everyday just to sit and be with your thoughts??

Yeah.  It’s scary.  You could totally change.

It has happened.  In fact, last year, Jes Ricker (owner of Night and Day Coffee Shop), started her “Year of Transformation” in April during the Challenge.  Have you seen her lately?   She glows.  I am going to interview her next week for this blog about her experience, so stay tuned.

But in the meantime, you people who haven’t shown up yet, what’s stopping you?

I am currently reading a book about Yin yoga, and in the section on “The Limits of Flexiblility” the author talks about the difference between tension in a muscle and compression. If there is tension, the muscle can be stretched, but if there is compression (think of a 7 months pregnant woman trying to do a forward bend) you won’t be able to stretch, and shouldn’t try because you are meeting resistance in the form of compression.  This writer says a useful mantra during your yoga practice is to ask yourself: “What is stopping me from going further?” The answer to that question may influence your practice considerably.

But I thought: What if we took this question out of the context of a yoga practice and used it as a life mantra?  What if we asked ourselves every day: “What is stopping me?”

Now, the answer to that question could be extremely illuminating, although very difficult to find.

Try it. Let me know how it works out for you.