Last week in our training we discussed obstacles on the path to yoga. In my long practice I have experienced all forms of obstacles. For those new to yoga or the obstacles some of them are; sickness, laziness, doubt, lack of enthusiasm, sloth, cravings for sense pleasures, false perceptions of your practice, despair and the inability to concentrate.
I think this past week I experienced all of those both on and off the mat. I had a really bad cold for a couple of days, I tried to meditate but without the ability to breathe I was not able to concentrate putting me in a position of doubt, I think the doubt let to despair and the despair led to the inability to concentrate and all of these of course made me crave sense pleasures leading to laziness and lack of enthusiasm.
Funny what a day or two makes. I was excited about standing on my head in the middle of the room which made me really excited and nervous at the same time. A combination of things that I love by the way. The next day I was feeling stuffy and unmotivated. Funny the difference a day makes.
Another obstacle that I think our Guru Patanjali forgot about, especially for us "house" yogis is children. Don't get me wrong I absolutely adore my children and wouldn't change anything about our life. But they are an obstacle. I try to practice daily but if my daughter doesn't nap that day it doesn't necessarily happen. If my boys are home they are asking every five minutes "mommy can I have a snack, mommy can I have a drink, mommy he's bugging me..." You get the picture. I often practice at night when the house is asleep but this is a personal obstacle as I am not always able to do a vigorous practice and it is often more yin and gentle.
I then wonder. If the children are an obstacle are they not also there to teach. Without them I could not practice concentration and dedication fully. You need distraction and temptation to do this. Additionally I practice not only because I love it but also to create a more harmonious family life and so my children have a healthy fit mom who is most often calm and relaxed and able to deal with most situations. If I did not have yoga I may not be the role model that I want for my children and my parenting skills might not be the same.
We all have obstacles whether we have children or not. The key is to overcome these obstacles in daily life as well as in our practice. Do you know what your obstacles are? Can you overcome them?