“Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.” ~~ Denis Waitley

Let’s face it. We’ve ALL have roadblocks put in our way at some point in our lives. If you haven’t, then I truly believe you’re in denial. Maybe some of you out there in blog land haven’t had super major ones thrown at you (a big “Woo Hoo” if that’s the case), but somewhere along the road of life, something hasn’t gone quite as you expected. These roadblocks can be simple or complex.

If you’re going to a restaurant and you planned out beforehand EXACTLY what you were going to order, only to discover they’re out of it once you get there, that’s simple…you just need to check over the menu again and pick something else. Nothing earth shattering is going to happen if you eat something different than planned.

A more complex roadblock might be something like getting hit with an unexpected but significant expense (i.e., medical bills, car repair). You may find yourself suddenly having to decide what to do with money that was earmarked for something else. Deciding which way to go requires more thought and care in a situation like this.

In our yoga practice, roadblocks are presented to us along our journey as well. Over the 13 years I have been practicing, I can’t tell you how many obstacles I’ve overcome in order to progress along my path. One roadblock I’ve never been able to knock down is my ability to achieve Lotus Pose. Over and over, I tried this pose in the beginning years of my practice. Then one weekend, I attended a Hip Opener workshop – 3 hours of nothing but opening my super tight hips. It was the first time I’d ever worked on my hips for that long, so when the instructor said Lotus was next, I thought to myself, “Hmm…maybe THIS time, I’ll be able to do it!” So I decided to try.

Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out so well…as soon as I attempted the pose, I felt a huge pop in my left knee, and I’ve had intermittent knee issues ever since. Turns out, I’ll never be able to achieve Lotus, due to the structure of my hips. I’m simply not built in such a way that Lotus Pose can be done safely. You may be wondering why I chose to share this example with you…an example where I attempted to knock down a roadblock and couldn’t. Glad you asked!

The point of my story is that I didn’t give up. I was determined to open up my tight hips. I found out along the way that Lotus just isn’t for me, and there’s nothing I can do about that…I can’t change the structure of my bones and joints, after all. BUT…I can do other poses to open my hips. Why does it have to be Lotus? It doesn’t! And that’s the point. In my mind, I told myself it had to be Lotus Pose, because that’s the “pose of all poses” when you think of hip openers in yoga, right? Well, maybe that’s the pose for others, but not for me. So I tackled that roadblock by picking other hip openers, and all is well with the world.

This week, think about your own roadblocks…both in your life and in your yoga practice. How do you tackle them? Do you just accept them and give in to defeat? Or do you muster up your determination and take charge of the situation?

One last thing I’d like to share before I close. I’ve been back into my running routine now for about 3 weeks. I pretty much had to start from scratch, because I’d taken so much time off due to health stuff. Up until this past weekend, I’ve been walking all the hills because I thought I wasn’t ready for them yet. But on Sunday as I started my run with my friend, Megan, I let her know that I probably would have to walk the hills, and that she should just go on without me if I stopped to walk. She said, “You can’t do the hills because you THINK you can’t. If you want it, then just do it.” Maybe that’s not a direct quote, but it’s pretty much what she said. And I have to say, I stopped to think about what she said…Hmmm…was she right? COULD I actually conquer these hills on this route that I hadn’t been able to before? I was determined to try. And try I did. My legs were screaming at me on the last hill, but damn if I didn’t make it up every single hill on that 5 mile route we did! I was ecstatic…very tired, but the sense of accomplishment I felt was amazing! And this morning, my friend Sandra did the same thing to me on our run…she encouraged me by telling me I could do the hills after she saw me slack and walk two of them. So, I mustered up my determination and tackled the last two successfully.

Find your determination…dig deep if you need to, but find it, grab onto it, and run with it. Take charge of your life and your yoga practice by getting rid of the things standing in your way. You’re only limited by the limitations you place on yourself.

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