Obstacles in Kriya Yoga
There are several obstacles that can affect your practice and hinder your
spiritual progress. That is why it is very important to understand what these
obstacles are. You can then be careful to avoid them in your life. The obstacles
for spiritual progress are explained below:
This is a very important factor that people miss out. Overeating brings all
sorts of other illnesses including obesity, heart troubles and digestive
disorders. Oily and spicy food taken for the sake of pleasing the tongue puts
heavy burden on the digestive system. Our stomach is not a factory to work 24/7
and it eventually breaks down if continuously overloaded. The energy that should
have been otherwise utilized for higher practices is wasted in digesting the
food alone. Hence moderate diet is a must for any Yoga practitioner. Yoga says
that you should fill half the stomach with food, third quarter with water and
remaining quarter should be left empty for gases. Also, one should offer
everything that is being consumed to the God. Keep in mind that "amount of
energy consumed" and "amount of energy spent" must have a proper balance.
In order to perform hard physical labor we need to spend lot of energy. A
Yogi should focus on using his energy only for yogic practice. A tired body and
mind can’t remain concentrated resulting in poor quality of practice. Of course
one must perform one’s daily duties.
Talking too much
We come across many people who are talkative or rather talk too much. Talking
too much not only wastes your energy but also causes mind to scatter. A Yoga
practitioner must avoid discussing gossips and useless chatting. Practicing
Mauna is helpful in stabilizing your mind.
Mauna refers to observing silence for a specific period of time and spending
that time in activities such as introspection.
Mixing with common people
A Yoga practitioner should avoid mixing with common people. It is often said -
"Do not engage with fools. They first drag you at their level and then beat you
with their experience." The same thing happens when you mix with ordinary
people. Unknowingly they infect you with their worldly desires and expectations.
Note that the intention here is not to show that you are superior to others and
should isolate yourself from the rest of the world but to avoid unsuitable
Observances of severe vows
A Yoga practitioner needs to observe discipline in daily life. However, he
should not follow severe vows such as fasting and bathing with ice cold water.
By torturing one's own body one cannot become Yogi. A careful judgment is
necessary while applying any such rules.
Unsteadiness of Body and Mind
A common man possesses very unsteady body and mind. In order to succeed in Yoga
one must have steady body and a focused mind. Yogi should be able to sit in one
place for hours. That's why Hatha Yoga gives so much emphasis on Asanas. One
must also learn to control the mind that is otherwise unsteady like wind. Mind
runs with the speed of light. You never know when it will wander away from its
goal. It is very difficult to control. Focusing mind on your practice is the key
part of Yoga. Lack of concentration makes your practice mechanical.
A body weakened by diseases can’t perform higher spiritual practices. The
quality of Yoga postures, Pranayama and Meditation degrades when your body is
suffering from some illness. Diseases weaken the Prana in the body and progress
can’t be achieved.
Mental dullness is another big obstacle. If your mind is in dull you can’t
concentrate on what you are doing. This dullness often starts creeping in when
you sit for Meditation and then you feel bored.
People often doubt about their path and progress. They always keep thinking
whether they are on right path and making any progress. Such doubts will take
you nowhere. You must have complete faith in your path and practices that you
Laziness is a big enemy of any Yoga aspirant. A mind full of laziness can’t make
any progress. Often people start Yoga with a lot of enthusiasm but after few
weeks give up because of laziness. Getting up early in the morning, doing
kriyas regularly sounds boring after laziness possesses your
mind body equipment.
Craving for material pleasures hinders your spiritual progress. If day and night
you are thinking about wealth and luxuries then where is the time for
self-realization? Craving for material objects also weakens your mind power
because it makes you slave of the sense organs.
All the above obstacles must be overcome with constant efforts. You must try to
calm your mind through Yogic techniques. Often happiness and sorrow, good and
bad disturb our mind. To overcome such disturbances you must cultivate the
opposite qualities. You should cultivate friendly attitude towards happiness,
compassion towards sorrow, gladness towards good and indifference towards the
bad. Once you cultivate such attitude you will find that mind becomes purer day
by day and finally it comes under control.