Ashtanga Yoga in Thailand – breakthrough!

I have come to Thailand for a month to practice Ashtanga Yoga with my new teacher Steve Lapham who is amazing! (, and I had a major breakthru today.
The question is…
Why do I make things harder than they are?
I am currently “stuck” on the asana in Intermediate series called Kapotasana (which is a back bending posture where you are on your knees with the goal being to touch your heels), and today I heard a voice in my head say “ Polly you can do this, it doesn’t have to be so hard Let It Go”.
What came up for me felt like an emotional brick wall that was old and cellular and has been with me since childhood. It is the feeling that I get in dreams sometimes where I am running as hard as I can and my body feels like is moving thru wet concrete and just won’t go no matter how hard I try.
It felt like my brain and this weird belief/ emotion/ blockage cuts me off from prana and life force making things so hard when they arnt.
WHY? I guess it doesn’t matter why. All I want is to be free.
I want to be in the flow of energy that is coming from source and in that flow using that prana I know it is all possible. It is only me, my mind and my emotional baggage that makes it seem not possible.
This is what amazes me with Ashtanga Yoga, showing up on my mat everyday with a good teacher. He is pushing me to my maximum, and I feel from him that he knows its possible for me. I just need to get out of the way, and that what I did today.
Before I begin I say silently to myself “I am now ready to let go of all this that is no longer serving me.”
My first Kapotasana today Steve was holding my hips and telling me to press the floor with the tops of my feet and shins and have the feeling of straightening my legs. As my head moved closer to my feet I could feel the emotion rising, the old feeling of running thru concrete. It was an incredible realisation to see that this emotion is what has been holding me back in my backbending. My breathing was intense and laboured and I felt like I was about to cry. I came up and knew I had to do it again.
So I did and it was much more free and easy and I could breathe and it wasnt a drama! Wow.
This is why I practice yoga.
It’s not so that I have the perfect Kapotasana.
It is coming up against the emotional brick wall that has been holding me back and moving through it. Experiencing it, releasing, and seeing light on the other side.
The personal growth that comes in moments like these are life changing, and am so grateful to have found a good teacher to guide me through them!
I recently read a blog post from a fellow Ashtanga Yoga friend which was about how do we know when we are progressing in yoga. The article referred to the yoga sutras where it says basically (paraphrasing) that you know you are progressing in your yoga practice when you are becoming a nicer, tolerant, and more compassionate person.
That is the point.
It doesn’t matter that I can do Kapotasana perfectly. What matters is that I am willing to face my blocks and let them go!
Which I know directly transfers into my life.
Becoming and living in a more balanced, centered and serene state off the mat.
Thank you Steve and Ashtanga yoga for helping transform me and helping me to see what is possible!
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