Obstacles to Yoga Practice and Their Consequences

Posted by 200hrsyogattc in Health on February 8th, 2018

For any yoga aspirant, hailing to India is like a vivid dream. To be able to immerse oneself in living traditions, history, and deep-rooted spirituality is a highly illuminating experience for many. Also, studying, practicing, and undertaking a yoga teacher training in the birthplace of yoga is a lifetime opportunity. The colorful culture, infectious energy, enchanting views of the country make one’ s yogic experience more divine, enthralling, delightful and enlightening. Having said this, the passage of yoga is not an easy one; it is filled with obstacles, pitfalls, and detours. One should not only know one’s capacities and strengths but also the diverse difficulties, challenges that one may need to confront as they advance on the path of yoga.

Therefore, yogic philosophy provides a guided map to assist you when you get stuck. Here is a list of nine antarayas or impediments to watch for during the journey of yoga.

1. Vyadhi: The first obstacle to the regular practice of yoga is the absence of a healthy body and mind. Although the illness or disease show up mostly in the form of physical pain or sickness, a more subtle source can derive from unbalanced emotional health, negativity, and impaired mental health. A lack of self-care on all the three levels--physical, mental, and spiritual leads to disease and makes it difficult for a practitioner to engage in a regular yoga practice.

2. Styana: When we find ourselves facing an apathetic approach, procrastination, and mental stagnation, ‘styana’ is often on hand. The carefree attitude prevents us from taking the right and necessary actions thwarting our progression. We start to postpone our yoga practice which hampers our physical and mental health. Therefore, taking decisions despite feelings of ambivalence is the pathway to continuing the momentum in the yoga practice.

3. Samshaya: Really a big obstacle for many of us who spent hours and too much mental energy in doubting ourselves and questioning our self-worth. Samshaya shows up as lack of confidence in our own capabilities. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states that we become well-versed with reality only when we are free from doubt. Reaffirming faith in oneself is the ultimate solution to this problem.

4. Pramada: The carelessness, negligence inadvertently diverge us from our desired destination. Whatever is the cause of lack of foresight whether distraction, destructive habits or other deviations-- a lack of clear thinking leads to pramada, taking us off track from the yoga path where we intend to go. Additionally, approaching the science of yoga without skill, devotion shall create erratic and negative results.


5. Alasya: Translated as fatigue and laziness, alasya often shows up in a life of several people as burnout. Failing to take proper care of yourself, the overworked body makes it difficult for a person to get out of bed, let alone face the day with zeal. A simple measure of self-care, meditation practices, and performance of yoga postures can recharge our batteries.

6. Avirati: This obstacle is concerned with over-indulgence, non-abstaining from worldly pleasures, often driven by cravings and overpower of feelings. This obstacle shows up both within and outside the yoga practice. Within our yoga practice, we can become attracted to some yoga postures that are easy to practice or make us feel good leaving aside the postures that are hard to master.

 

7. Bhranti Darshana: This obstacle presents itself when we are living in a world of delusion or are blinded by false perceptions. The development of a false notion and misconceptions about yoga practice lead to harm and disappointment. Also, it is imperative that we not only appreciate the art of yoga but try to delve deep into it for enrichment.

8. Alabdhabhumikatva: While commencing on a yoga teacher training journey, we invariably face situations where we feel like we are failing and are not progressing in our journey. In this situation, we are tempted to change our directions and lose our resolves.

9. Anavasthitatva: This refers to instability to maintain the progression due to pride, stagnation or faulty practice. In order to keep the yoga practices fresh and developing, it is important to keep exploring the science of yoga.

With a better understanding of the obstacles that plague our yoga practice, we can remain to persevere in the direction we are heading and acquire positive consequences.


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