Yoga offers us a wonderful way to explore our relationship with resistance. As we come into challenging poses, or ease ourselves into deep stretches, we are given space to observe our reactions and how we respond.Clenching the jaw, laboured breathing, avoiding the more difficult plank pose, or forcing ourselves into places our body doesn't wish to be right now. These are all ways in which we resist how our body is in the moment, and the messages it is sending us about it's current state.
It is said that tension, tightness and pain are all messages. They come to tell us that something isn't quite right - or maybe that something is very wrong. The tightness in the hamstrings or lower back are telling us to ease into those poses, and to be careful with our backs, and to focus our home practice on the backs of the legs. Deep and sorrowful grief following a bereavement is also a message: of love, and loss and saying goodbye. These experiences are unpleasant and painful, but they serve a purpose.The problem isn't the unpleasant sensation in the body or the painful emotions. The problem is our RESISTANCE to these things; how ever AVOID exploring the messages we are receiving; how we NUMB those experiences we don't like (alcohol, TV, shopping, work.......) and CLING to those we don't want to let go of.And the more we resist, the more those messages keep coming, sometimes with greater intensity and frequency until we listen. My main messenger is my depression. When it comes, I have to listen. I've learned that if I ignore it, or try to beat it with medication or even yoga and therapy, it might retreat a little - but then comes back with a vengeance. The only way for me to move through a depressive episode is to LISTEN to the message it brings.In this week's classes we'll be using poses and the breath to explore our resistance, both physically and mentally, in various ways. And also look at how we can use mindfulness, yoga and breathing to soften gently into our experience, and start to the ask the question; "can I be OK with this?"