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What obstructs practice?

In our pre­vi­ous post , we said that Prac­tice makes one Per­fect. It so easy to say but dif­fi­cult to imple­ment! Isn’t it. Every­time we set an alarm for prac­tice, we end up snooz­ing it and los­ing time. It is also frus­trat­ing when we do not progress much towards our goal. We intel­lec­tu­al­ly rea­son about it but find it dif­fi­cult to trans­late the find­ings into action. We get excit­ed when we read the sto­ries of Arju­na or Beethoven or Ein­stein about their count­less hours of prac­tice. These sto­ries remain and inspi­ra­tion and we end up like the fox that said “these are sour grapes”.

Vyadhi: Disease

You took up a jog­ging rou­tine and left it in 2 days because you caught a cold or you start­ed med­i­tat­ing and after 2 days you had this nau­sea and stopped med­i­tat­ing. Sounds famil­iar? Patan­jali Mahar­ishi says that dis­ease is an obsta­cle to progress. A healthy body is a much need­ed to achieve any mean­ing­ful thing in life. Most peo­ple who work aggres­sive­ly to reach the top often can­not enjoy the fruits because they devel­op ail­ments and dis­eases. A well-bal­anced diet, a sim­ple rou­tine and an inward focus can keep your body healthy.

Styana: Dullness

This typ­i­cal­ly hap­pens when you are new­ly tak­ing up an ear­ly morn­ing rou­tine. When you try to wake up, say at 5am, for the first few days you expe­ri­ence a dull­ness of the mind. You feel numb and your cog­ni­tive func­tions work at sub-opti­mal lev­els. There is a seri­ous lack of excite­ment. This is a phase you must cross. If you dis­con­tin­ue pre­ma­ture­ly, progress will be a dis­tant dream. Once you over­come this, you feel up and ready!

Samsaya: Doubt

Doubt is a men­tal state that is in between two oppo­site thoughts. You are nei­ther sure of this nor that. Doubts also impact iden­ti­ty and con­fi­dence. Psy­chol­o­gy says that cre­at­ing doubts in the minds of young chil­dren impact them life-long. It is dif­fi­cult to keep one step for­ward when the mind is full of doubts. “Should it do it or not? Will this be help­ful? Am I doing the right thing? ”

Objec­tive ques­tion­ing can help you rea­son out and resolve issues but doubts are big hur­dle.

Pramada: Procrastination

Kabir beau­ti­ful­ly said ” काल करे सो आज कर, आज करे सो अब । पल में प्रलय होएगी,बहुरि करेगा कब”. (Kaal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so ab, pal me pralay hoye­gi, bahuri kare­ga kab”. What is to be done tomor­row, do it today! What is to be done today, do it now! If time pass­es away, how will the work get done! So pro­found isn’t it. How­ev­er, sym­pa­thiz­ers of pro­cras­ti­na­tion often believe that as long as the work get done, we should­n’t wor­ry about when it is done. But we know that for most things, it does­n’t work that way. Psy­chol­o­gy research says that pro­cras­ti­na­tion final­ly results in high­er stress lev­els, poor per­for­mance and low qual­i­ty out­put. It also results in anx­i­ety and guilt.

Alasya: Laziness

We are so famil­iar with this! This seems to be the main rea­son for most of are half-done or not-done tasks-wash­ing clothes, clean­ing the house, yoga in the morn­ing or jour­nal writ­ing in the night. Except in cer­tain con­di­tions like ADHD, lazi­ness does not have a pos­i­tive impact on peo­ple. It is seen as a man­i­fes­ta­tion of low-esteem, lack of moti­va­tion and a gen­er­al dull­ness in life.

Avirati: Lack of Renunciation

When we indulge too much in some­thing, we for­get that we had a goal in mind and the prac­tice is dumped. It takes a long time to remem­ber and get back to prac­tice. Our think­ing pat­tern, pref­er­ences etc would have been changed because of the indul­gence and it makes prac­tice all the more dif­fi­cult with the changed con­di­tions. Hence renounc­ing these indul­gences espe­cial­ly when we have a goal in mind helps a lot.

Patan­jali Mahar­ishi sug­gests 3 more obsta­cles name­ly Bhran­ti­dar­shana: wrong per­cep­tion, alab­d­hab­hu­mikat­va: inabil­i­ty to achieve fin­er stages and anavasthi­tat­va: insta­bil­i­ty.

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