Who doesn’t practice just a little resistance now and then? The bigger question, however, is how aware of resistance are you and what do you do when you bump up against it? As most know, judgement is the quickest way to keeping something stuck in place. Luckily meditation is a great tool to help witness resistance and see what’s going on underneath it.
Sally Kempton pens this recent Yoga Journal post on meditation and resistance. According to Kempton, key to a resistance meditation is noticing the subtleties in the body. By paying attention to them, one gets into dialogue with the discomfort. In asking a series of accessing questions, a sense of ease and relaxation is possible.
When you notice yourself feeling constricted, or stagnant, or stuck—all words to describe the same phenomenon—ask yourself what you are resisting. You’ll probably know the answer right away. It might be a change of some kind: perhaps a shift in diet or in your personal practice, or maybe in your attitude toward your family life, your relationships, or yourself.
Once you’ve noticed the arena of resistance, let yourself feel the sensation of resisting. What does the resistance feel like in your body?
Having reached into the feeling space of resistance, ask yourself, “What do you have to tell me? What is this resistance about? Why are you there?”
Ask the questions and then just wait to see what arises. It may be a feeling, a thought, a belief, or a fear.
Keep asking until you feel that you’ve sensed as much about the resistance as possible. Feel that you are listening to it.
Read more from Kempton on how to practice a resistance meditation here.