Can Resistance Make You Stronger? (Part 1)

Can Resistance Make You Stronger? (Part 1)

Do you remember your dreams? 

Are they so memorable that you wake up in the morning feeling like the line between your dreams and reality are blurred? 

Here’s a secret. My dreams—when I’m lucky enough to remember them—are filled with wild animals, luscious landscapes, and otherworldly creatures. Sometimes they feel so real it takes a while to figure out if they were really just a dream

Did you know that your dreams may indicate your primary Aryuvedic constitution? 

Are your dreams: 

  • Black and white and full of movement? You may be Vata in nature. 

  • Vivid, super detailed, and filled with crazy characters? This may indicate Pitta. 

  • Difficult to recall? This may point towards Kapha. 

Wild, right? 

I learned this little nugget of wisdom from B. Naga Kumar on my first trip to India in 2015. 

When I first began Yoga Lyfe I had a dream. I dreamt of creating a space where yogis could feel safe to share their stories on how much yoga has changed their life.

I dreamt of a community space where students could ask questions and find practical advice on practice.

You know like the kind of advice to questions you may have thought sound too simple or too dumb to ask? 

Here's one - So what CAN I eat before practice if I’m too hungry to follow the “no food 2-3 hours before” rule? 

Hint: If you're super famished and you must eat, go for berries or citrus. Something light and easy to digest an hour or two before practice. 

This was the initial intent behind Yoga Lyfe. 

Beyond creating a yoga space, I dreamt of sharing insights into a yoga teacher’s life. Insights into our lives beyond spending our days in leggings, running from class to class, and practicing how to look like a pretzel.

After all, teachers are human too, and yes, we have way more interests beyond yoga (though sometimes you wouldn’t know it because it's the number one thing you hear us talk about all the time). 

Back in 2013 when I started blogging, I reached out to a few teachers and studio owners to share their voice and wisdom. The reception was awesome. Teachers were totally down to add their stories the blog.

But you know what happened? There was that four letter word that stopped me dead in my tracks.

FEAR. 

AKA, RESISTANCE. 

I was afraid. 
I was afraid: 

That no one would care to read the blog. 
Of criticism. 
Of lacking the proper skills to write great content.
Of making mistakes. 

See the thing is this four letter word is the number one obstacle that keeps us from growing. How many times has fear come up and stopped you before you even start?

So, when I see someone who steps beyond the border of fear and stands up with HEART and COURAGE, I want to give them a big ol’ bear hug and let them know that they’re AMAZING for letting their voice be heard—even when it quakes. 

When I first read “More Than Just a Yoga Teacher” by Helen Lee, it touched me to my very core—literally, in my stomach. I felt every word hit that one spot where fear comes up the most, the solar plexus. 

You see, the solar plexus is where we physically feel our emotions. You know that saying, “I had a gut feeling about this?” Well, that’s exactly where these words hit me. Here’s an excerpt from Helen’s work. 

I think the pressure of being a yoga teacher can sometimes be overwhelming, superficial, and ridiculous. People expect certain things from you, want certain things from you. We’re a culture of praise and complaint. We are annoyed by the simplest things, and put people up on pedestals for the simplest things. It can be confusing and demeaning.”

As I read her post, my throat welled up, and I contacted Helen to see if she would allow us to share her writing.

If you’re a yoga teacher, this is especially for you

Because you know what it’s like to overcome resistance and show up to your mat, whether it’s for your own practice or for your students. You know the truth that the large percentage of your practice IS getting on the mat in the first place. Once you finally get over the 50 million excuses that run through your brain to skip practice, you know how powerful it feels to overcome resistance.

When you notice the root of resistance and over come it, it CAN make you stronger.

I want to thank Helen for showing up. I want her to know that no matter what doubts may arise, or criticisms she may encounter, that she’s not alone. That I see and accept her just as she is. 

One more amazing fact about Helen. She’s also a friend from childhood. Helen used to put up with my love for The Bangles and Cindy Lauper, and would attempt drop backs with me when our spines were much younger. 

She’s the kind of soul so unique that 30 years later you still get super psyched to hear she’s coming into town. 

 Enjoying the gorgeous SF Twin Peaks View with Helen.

Enjoying the gorgeous SF Twin Peaks View with Helen.