Here I use the word Yoga as being United with God or pure consciousness. Yoga means United.
So that Yoga is very difficult. And very easy. It depends on purity.
What is purity? One simple definition that I have is the desire / love for God and God alone AND not having any desire / love for things in this world So you might say, wait a minute God is everywhere – what is wrong with loving food, sex, spouse etc. ? The Answer is you are using flawed logic. If you truly saw And thought God is everywhere, then the love for everything in this world should be the same! This includes your love for poverty the same as being rich, love for your enemy should be the same as your love for spouse , children etc and and the love for food be non preferential
So if you have purity, yoga is very easy. But that kind of purity takes time. It is not easy. That purity is the inherent property of pure consciousness. Since we have not experienced it fully , we have to get our mind slowly to get there. And that becomes difficult
The mind constantly seeks things to enjoy. And it constantly has the behavior of preferring things to enjoy and rejecting things it does not like. So now you see three flaws of the mind. In yoga they are called – raag preferring fun things, dvesha – rejecting things it does not like and
abhivinesh – blindly sticking to seeking pleasure, identifying itself as body and wanting body pleasures You can see this in your daily life – you prefer wine or soda, or unhealthy food, you display favoritism, you seek money, sex, travel etc. anything that will give the mind pleasure or fun In other words we do not see things equally. And seek pleasure for oneself. This pleasure for oneself is ego. Now do you remember we talked about God is everywhere? Well to exist as ego , like ego of body ( could be any of the body) is a Avidya. Ignorance. Not knowing pure consciousness.
Thus these are the 5 obstacles one has to remove. It all stems from avidya. But having this knowledge that you are pure consciousness is not enough. You must experience it. For that, you have to fight and challenge the mind constantly. Overcome the defects of the mind. Many times will you fail and you have to continue your pursuit
For example, you may have anger towards someone. You may get sad. Upset. Frustrated. Depressed. You may draw imaginary castles about having money and travel and be elated when someone praises you. These are nothing more than traps of the mind to remain bound in ignorance. You have to constantly remind yourself
I will not get upset or angry or frustrated. Or lust etc
I will endure the hardship of rejecting these waves of the mind
And then silently observe and attempt to go within.
Now for a very very long time, the mind has been accustomed to getting its own way And if it does not, it gets depressed or throws a tantrum. This will be a challenge. Anyone who has tried not to get angry or depressed or anxious knows it is very difficult. But slowly in very tiny steps we have to learn not to be upset in small things. Like being in a traffic jam. Or having to stand in a long line. And then you can move in to bigger things in life like losing money and then finally giving up food and sex. But it must go in small steps. You cannot expect to fight the final battle on day one.
These things take about 12 years to form a habit – the good habit of not getting upset. Relentlessly one most work hard and every few weeks it becomes easier and easier to not get upset.
Then you can move to the next level of battle. The higher level battle are related to the senses. In Sanskrit, the senses are called indriya. And the senses of the subtle body created the gross physical body. And the gross physical body has senses that we constantly want to enjoy. That is a higher level battle.
The story of Ramayana talks about his son Indrajit. He was one of the greatest warrior. He was given a boon that no one can be victorious over him. Unless, the warrior against him has not slept for 12 years and did not eat any grains for 12 years. Laxman had done that during his 12 years of exile in the Forrest. He never slept and guarded Ram and Sita and only ate minimal fruits
Here is a link to a story of Indrajit. You will see how powerful he is. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.storypick.com/indrajit-the-greatest-warrior/amp/
Indra or indriya means senses. Ajith means that which can’t be defeated. So the son of Ravana is Indrajit. A subtle force that makes it impossible to win over the senses. You will see many many people succumb to the forces of the senses! In order to win over it, conquering sleep ( meaning not succumbing to avidya,for 12 years is needed ) And not eating grains ( meaning not enjoying the senses for 12 years ) is needed.
Now you see that the battle of the senses is difficult and to be done also. After that the battle with Ravana and kumbhakaran starts
Never get discouraged in this battle. You will fail a million times. But who knows. The million and one blow was the one destined to give you full victory! It takes time. Lahirih Mahasaya said, Banat, banat, ban jaye. Meaning that almost almost there and oh suddenly it is done. Giving up this royal battle is the only failure. Constantly fight. The mind will fight back from past habits and tendencies. There is no reason to fight anyone else except your own mind
And that is Yoga in a nutshell. It is not really a magical awakening of shakti and being enlightened. It is a long battle. A battle of conquering the mind. Your mind. Your own unregulated mind is your enemy. But it can be your friend if you can follow these simple tricks