Why I’ve Been Resisting Yoga

I like yoga…in fact I love it. Everything about it. It makes me feel better physically. It helps me connect my physical, spiritual, and mental self. It challenges me, and I really think it’s beautiful, peaceful and full of love and light. I want to do it every day at least for ten minutes, but that has been a struggle for me for quite a while...a long while. Much longer than I wanted and I was getting quite frustrated with myself. I’ve been doing a lot of healing and growth and reconnecting and accepting my physical self. Actually realizing that I’m human and I do exist and I deserve to take care of myself mentally, spiritually, and physically. I’ve been abusing my body for a long time, but I wasn’t sure how to do things differently.

I expected yoga to be this incredible and joyful experience every time I practiced and became disappointed each time I practiced. I thought, "I must be doing it wrong." This isn’t the exceptional experience I want. So I resisted. Then a month or two would go by and I would try again and repeat the experience. I was being really hard on myself for not wanting to practice yoga every day and getting quite angry with myself and not practicing much self-compassion.

I recently reread this journal entry from awhile back that really shed some light into how I was feeling about practicing:

I always fight and resist yoga for some reason, but I love what I learn from it and I love the outcomes from practicing, but the actual practice doesn’t bring me joy. It seems serious and resolute and perhaps my expectations are it is supposed to be fun. It’s not fun, fast, and easy so I resist. I’m in a bit of a state of heaviness anyway with winter, the recent happenings, and the looming uncertainty. It’s completely acceptable that it isn’t “fun” but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be doing it. The things we need for our health are often not fun, fast, or easy.

After fighting with it for so long, I finally gave myself some reprieve and decided I wouldn’t force myself to do yoga every day and went on to make some significant discoveries about myself and my physical wellness through other means. I discovered there are reasons I am unkind to my body and it will take time and effort to work through these and move beyond them. I also started practicing some compassion with myself because new habits are always hard to develop.

However, upon finding some new inspiration and recognizing the need to reset my expectations of my yoga experience, I have been practicing yoga most days. I realized that practicing brings up emotions; raw and uncomfortable emotions but that’s okay. I may want my yoga practice to be joyful and full of light and love, but right now it is not that and I can accept and be okay with it. I don’t have to think that I’m doing it wrong and I don’t have to get angry with myself for it not meeting my expectations and resisting it. Instead I am adjusting my expectations and embracing it and really feeling those emotions as they come. Right now my practice is rather intense and that’s okay, plus I am learning a lot from practicing. This is what I need right now to heal and move through this transformation; whatever it might be. This is my journey, I can practice compassion, and embrace what is instead of what I expect.