Our final in our removing obstacles series!
Let’s face it, sometimes obstacles are just not meant to be conquered. There are many underlying causes, from physical, to mental, or even emotional reasons. In rock climbing, I may never be able to climb the 3000 feet of granite rock called El Capitan. It is beyond my climbing abilities, and, I have to admit, probably always will be in this lifetime. Does this mean I should give up climbing? Of course not! I can climb other rocks and boulders more accessible to me. I can get just as much enjoyment doing something smaller, less challenging and within my physical limits. This will be much more satisfying than tempting life and limb on doing something that will most likely cause injury or even death. After all, it really isn’t about getting to the top; it’s the journey along the way.
Deliberately choosing another goal
In our yoga practice, there may be some poses that will always be beyond us. Some poses may just be out of reach for our physical bodies to perform. Physical ailments, conditions, accidents, or even our anatomy can limit what is possible to do. As a simple example, take hip openers. These are generally easier for women to do than for men to. Why? The bone structure in the hips in women allows for a deeper expression and opening. This is biological. If you are a man, there are no mental preparations or stretches that will change the fundamental structure of your bones. There is simply nothing you can do about it. Does this mean that men cannot do hip openers? Of course not! We may however choose to concentrate on different poses – taking a different path in our yoga and expressing hip openers a little bit differently.
There are also different types of yoga that attract different people in different stages of their lives. Ashtanga yoga, or hot yoga, is great for some people. Yin is better for others. Chair yoga is accessible to yet other folks. Choosing a different type of yoga practice can make all the difference. Similarly, going on a month long meditation retreat is good for some, but others can get a great benefit by just doing meditation for a short period of time at home. There is an immense field of yoga and meditation knowledge and practices out there – well more than any one person can discover and explore in a lifetime. The secret is finding for yourself the one that works best for you.
Overcoming obstacles in your life sometimes means dropping them completely – having the willingness to take on a different challenge. Do not be afraid to try something different. Change if you find the path you are on is not for you. Choose mindfully. I can assure you there will be challenging obstacles to overcome on whichever path you take. Overcoming these new found obstacles on your new journey will yield just as much satisfaction and, looking back, bring you feelings of fulfillment and contentment.
So in this series we looked at different ways of overcoming obstacles —from using our Ganesh-like qualities and pushing on through, to using patience, to finding another way, and in this blog, choosing another direction entirely and avoiding the obstacle completely.
Are there other ways? I’m sure there are. Let me know. Send in your comments, and we all will learn together.