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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.

Author:

I’m a small town yoga teacher who says motherfucker a lot. I hate anything woo. I’m into neuroscience. And facts. I’ll lead the chanting of “om” sometimes, but it makes me feel awkward. I want to access flow states. As far as yoga helps me do that, I’m into it. Dopamine is my fave neurotransmitter. Don’t tell anyone I told you this.

7 thoughts on “Day 5: What Is Stopping You?

  1. Day 5: April 5th, after a walk in the field with Aria this sunny (and windy!) afternoon, I did 30 minutes of yoga, facing South; oodles of happy, flowy poses. Among the joys: my Trees are stronger & longer; my back doesn’t ache/feel weak when I make that first bend forward during Sun Salutations.

    Today ends my 5-day weekend (how great that the 1st 5 days of this Challenge were during non-working days!!). Tomorrow: back to work … and I wonder … where will I tuck these joyful 30 minutes in the busy day? I know I will figure a way because I really want to “change in weird and unpredictable ways.” 😉

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  2. Things have been really busy and anxious here on my end, but I squeezed in an hour of yoga this afternoon, and it was interesting. It felt really disjointed, going from one set of poses to another random set, but I felt a sense of relief. I also picked non-yoga songs… I have been listening to a group of songs that have really motivated me and made me happy, and I thought, hey, why can’t I listen to these songs instead of your typical yoga music? So I did. And it was fun.

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  3. Totally wasted today. No yoga, but a tasty walk. I think Mondays will have to be my day off, but I’ll be on the carpet at MSY in the morning, gods willing.

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  4. For a good 20 minutes yesterday I did every single leg pose that I could think of and a few hip stretches since my legs seemed to need it the most. And today I did suns-till-sweat, which is a good way for me to work out the weird kinks from being in class all day.

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  5. Today I found a wonderful podcast on http://www.yogajournal.com/video/60
    I did standing poses that helped me open my hips.

    For the first time in ages, I’m starting to like “Downward Facing Dog.” I’m learning to accept that it’s ok that my body feels uncomfortable. I have to work with it, and not against it.

    Peace!

    Morgan

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  6. April 6th; Day 6: 30 min., 8 to 8:30 pm (didn’t get home ’til 7:30 pm!), back porch, facing East, started out powerful with warriors, trees, salutations & other standing poses, then made my way to the floor … cat/cow, pigeon, thread the needle, sitting poses & twists, then back stretches, slower, slower, slower, gentler, gentler, gentler, deeper, deeper, deeper … child … Savasana … and watched the stars come out in the night sky. Joyful. 🙂

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