How to Stop Pushing and Pulling

By Silvia Mordini

Do you ever get tired of living like you’re in a constant tug-o-war?

This one thing creates more tension than anything else. Today I am wishing you a day of effortless effort where you are not feeling pulled or pushed by others nor where you are the one doing the pushing or pulling.

I know from experience every time you push your partner, he or she will pull back. When you try to pull at them to stay longer, they will then push away. It’s the win-lose scenario of dualism. Imagine how strong a person has to be that when you push them they don’t react to your pushing. All while at the same time they are careful not to overcompensate for the initial push in order to maintain balance.

Whew! That’s not fun.

But when you follow the lead of your breath and stop pushing and pulling at other people, it all makes for living a life of greater ease. In yoga, we practice recognizing energies of Pushing and Pulling called Dvesa and Raga in Sanskrit, so we can live better off the mat.

Take to heart the words of Judith Lasater who writes, “in life, we are pulled between trying to get what you want and trying to avoid what you don’t want. Pulling and Pushing away both limit our freedom.” What is freedom? To me, is about learning to be happy with what life is offering you, thereby reducing the extremes of pushing and pulling. It’s really that simple.

This teaching concept is from the Yoga Sutras:

Yoga Sutras Chapter 2, Verse 7
Excessive fondness for pleasant experiences causes longing. Attachment (Raga) which is PULLING

Yoga Sutras Chapter 2, Verse 8
Excessive avoidance of unpleasant experiences causes contempt. Aversion (Dvesa) which is PUSHING

On and off the mat we can be aware of what we are thinking:
1. Where are your thoughts PUSH energy? Push thoughts are things like “I don’t want to hold this pose, I don’t want to try this new or difficult variation.”
2. Where are your thoughts PULL energy? Pull thoughts might be things like “I need another Sun Salutation,” “I have to do 35 vinyasas per class no matter what.”

When we aren’t pushing away positive change or pulling at it either, we remain on easy speed and life becomes a Win-Win.Try it and see!

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!



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