RESISTANCE GETS A BAD RAP
JANUARY 8TH, 2010: I was feeling bad for resistance. I think it usually gets a really bad reputation when maybe we aren’t giving it enough credit. In chapter two of the Yoga Sutras there is all this talk of working towards balance and harmony in our lives. One example for instance of using the breath is that it has the same “effect as combing our energy” on the inside just like we have to comb our hair on the outside when we wake up. Nischala Joy Devi says “with rhythmical breathing we align and comb our energy, it becomes smoother, calmer, and more focused.”
So it occurs to me in order to brush my hair I have to use some muscular energy in holding the brush and sometimes really work hard to get all the knots out and retame my long hair in the same direction. The use of the brush is an example of positive resistance. The chaos of the hair needs to be focused otherwise it is all over the place. We use the poses and the breath in the same way on the mat. They teach us there are consequences. Rolf Gates when visiting TBY last year said something like "if we avoid our consequences we won’t wake up and we wouldn’t love as well.” In life even difficult people serve as a form of positive resistance to help us align our energies in a more focused way towards love and peace.
Another great example comes from nature. You’ve heard or seen stuff about Biodomes right? (And not the movie with Pauly Shore). Well tree’s inside the biodome won’t stay upright without any wind. They NEED the wind to be held accountable. In a really great harmonious ecosystem there are consequences. Some negative resistance might serve as warnings while positive resistance serve as examples. This is like listening to someone who has a teaching story to tell about how they went wrong, we learn from this and better appreciate why it’s important to comb our energies in a loving way in order to avoid those same consequences.
I especially can relate to this story from The Secret Power Of Yoga. I hope you get as much out of it as I always do! Love and peace, Silvia
“In a plain piece of metal, all the molecules are in chaos facing every which way. A magnet is a similar piece of metal in which all the molecules are perfectly aligned – the north pol,es facing one way, and the south poles facing in the opposite direction. Because of this alignment, the magnet gains the power to attract and hold other objects. If you stroke the ordinary metal and the magnet together in one direction only, the magnet will align all the molecules in the plain metal with itself, causing a second magnet to emerge. The power to attract and hold has been transmitted from one to the other, while amazingly enough the initial magnet retains its full strength. If you now take the two magnets and stroke them so the repelling poles are facing each other, the strength of each will diminish. The power to attract and hold is gone. We can see the benefit of being with those that support us rather than neutralize our power (satsang). As we align our energies this way through regulating our breath we maintain calm through the ordinary emotional rollercoaster rides we encounter each day. We find that when we are upset, everything around us reflects the same disturbance, as if it is somehow contagious. When tranquility prevails, it magnetizes everything with the same sense of calmness.”