There are six obstacles of Hatha Yoga that are listed in Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The six obstacles include overexertion, over eating, over talking, overdoing austerities, restless behavior and too much socializing. Students of 500 Hour Teacher Training Course at Rishikesh, will have a better understanding of these obstacles.
The practice of yoga should be gentle to the body and mind and going too far from what body allows can be to the undoing of the practitioner. It is about bringing the balance, and only moderate amount of exertion should be done. Effort can become an obstacle if mind and body is overly exerted. So, the need is to keep the balance and avoid going away from it by doing too much.
The energy that we all get is obviously from eating. It is quite natural to feel heavy after a meal. It is, in fact, the energy moving downwards towards the digestive system for the food to be digested. Yogic principle encourages the movement of energy upwards, and energy moving downward can be an obstacle. Of course, we need to eat but overeating can disrupt the energies moving upwards which include breath and spirit.
Talking is all about outward focus and eventually draws the mind away from focusing on the inner. So, talking can be categorised as a necessary evil, as it is required to function. However, too much of talking takes away the very spirit of Yogic practices and that is focus towards the inner.
Yogic practice talks only about bringing balance, and not sticking to rituals, rules and doctrines. Becoming obsessed with one’s performance can lead to performing austerities that are not good for the mind or the body and can become an obstacle for the practitioner.
Socializing is the buzzword today with the advent of social media. But it has a real flip side to it, which can be seen very clearly. In most cases of socializing, we are forced to accept the thoughts of others which are not worthy due to pressure. This is undoing to the practitioner and becomes a very serious obstacle which has to be overcome.
An active mind and a fit body can lead to being fidgety and restless. These all lead to impatience and impersistence which is just opposite to the principles of Hatha Yoga. But do not worry the Yogic principles are built to slowly remove restlessness. So, just join a Hatha Yoga Training Curriculum and enjoy it!