You've made a plan. You’ve been hydrating all day. You even had a lighter lunch, so it wouldn’t get in the way of your yoga practice. You’re halfway to the studio, or you're just about to put on your yoga clothes to take class at home, and still you feel it. You want to turn the car around and go home. Or, just watch a show on Netflix. Or, instead run an errand. Or stop and eat tacos. Anything, but practice.
Why is this happening? you think to yourself. I’ve been preparing all day to get on my mat and now every cell in my body is telling me to forget about it and do something else. I love yoga. Yoga is my favorite part of my week. So, why all of the resistance?
Sound familiar? At least five times a week I hear a student sigh as they log into my virtual class and proclaim, “I almost didn’t come, but I made it to my mat anyway.”
I’m always glad they chose to fight through the resistance in their mind and their body and end up on their mat that day. It’s a bigger deal than they might believe. It’s a huge deal, actually.
When you feel a ton of resistance to practicing yoga, it’s a surefire signal that you are on the brink of some big changes. Your practice is about to go a whole heck of a lot deeper, or the hip that always nags at you is about to heal, or you might finally understand some tiny nuance of a posture, or even, truly tune into the magic of your breath. It’s about to happen – the BIG changes you’ve been working for – and the body is not too happy about it.
Why not? Well, let me break it down for you. Every thought you think creates a chemical reaction in the body. You’ve been thinking the same thoughts for years. Your body is addicted to the chemistry it has created through the thoughts you think.
You take up a yoga practice and some of the thoughts you think change.
You begin to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Critical thoughts, with acceptance. And the body chemistry has to change. This is how yoga helps you heal.
BUT, the body likes the way it was before. It doesn’t think you need to change. It was pretty used to the way things were. And so… it creates resistance to the practice. And it is your job to go beyond it, to tell the Universe you’re ready for something new, and get on your mat anyway.
If you want big changes, you will have to have will power, tenacity, and persistence. You must always take the chance to take a step forward, to be open to trying something new, to keep learning.
I am not saying you should never take a break. If you need a break, please be good to your Self and take it. But, then get back to it. Don’t let the break turn into a week, or a month, or even a year.
There will always be resistance to the things that have the ability to change us, yoga included. Make a choice for You, go beyond the complacency of the body, and show up – again and again.
Tori Hicks-Glogowski is a yoga instructor and yoga business coach and mentor for yoga teachers. She is the author of the book, "Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi," and has been writing and sharing her yoga experience for the past seven years. Find out more about Tori now.