The Yoga of Resistance – The Pathway Inside

Been thinking a lot about resistance to practice from hearing many women speak of it in different ways and in noticing the ways in which it likes to show up for me too. I hear from some women who come to classes, who are receptive enough to see what’s going on for them, that they are troubled by their resistance. That they love the practice and generally feel great and rested and deeply relaxed after class, but have huge resistance at times against coming.

Its funny really that we can have such strong resistance to something that feels so good. But we all have it. The pathway within, to feeling ourselves inside, is layered with gateways and I am reminded of Inanna’s story of descent into the underworld and the seven gates she had to pass through, each more threatening than the last. A Tigress Yoga™ class is not nearly so treacherous, but the resistance to it can feel just as strong. I know. I have it too. Abundantly.

For me it shows up something like this;

I’m really too busy tonight, My dog hasn’t had a proper walk for ages, It’s just too hard to fit it in, Maybe I’ll just put the soup on now so it will be ready after I practice, there’s heaps of dust in my yoga room, maybe I’ll just vacuum the floor, it feels so nice to breathe like this but I really should do more vigorous exercise, the phone is ringing, oh that was a really profound thought – I’ll just get up and write that down, no maybe I’ll write about resistance, I’m ovulating, I’m bleeding, I need a shower, I’ve run out of candles and the room doesn’t feel right, the I-pod needs recharging, I’m sick of hearing the same music, my body doesn’t want this tonight, This is not resistance, I cant help it if I have a work meeting and my family is staying in the spare room, my mother, father sister brother needs me, etc etc etc etc. Phew its exhausting just writing it down!

Lately I’ve been trying to make friends with my resistance and form a relationship with it. I close my eyes and try to feel its contours and textures. It generally feels quite hard and firm, but its not fixed. It moves in a kind of elastic, tense sort of a way. I’m learning how to work with it. I’ve found it responds best to softness. It just melts. It also helps to trick it occasionally. (I’ll just sit for 5 minutes and breathe.) Discipline rarely works. Fighting and overriding our feelings is to alien to the Tigress Yoga™ approach, My woman can’t respond to hardness with hardness. I remember that this is just my edge. The place where my divinity meets my humanness in conflict, rather than harmony. And sometimes like any intimate relationship, we need a bit of foreplay to ease us into communion again.

I don’t get angry at my resistance anymore, I don’t fight it or argue with it or dismiss it. I take the pressure off and I feel it. I do what any mother would do with a screaming child. I soften. I soothe, I calm, I listen. And I say ‘Hello. I can hear you. What are you trying to tell me? What do you want to say?.’ And usually then I cry, or laugh. Or both.

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