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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Yoga, intentions, and how they changed my life

Two years ago I went to India for the first time.

Specifically to study yoga at the source of Ashtanga yoga, Mysore.

I went to Mysore feeling lost, and asking for my life purpose.

The answer I got was:

You know you are on purpose if what you are doing makes you thrive.

So I asked myself, what makes me thrive?

  • Different cultures
  • Being outside/ nature
  • Spiritual connection
  • Adventure
  • New experiences
  • Being of service

Suddenly I felt like I got the point. I realized that these are the things that make me happy, and settling down and doing what I saw everyone else doing around me wasn’t going to do it for me.

My three months in Mysore left me a changed person, and I knew I had to return to India.

Nine months later I was back.

The best advice I got about traveling in India is that India is like a magnifying glass. What ever you put out comes back to you MAGNIFIED.

This was so true.

I quickly put aside any fear about my trip and began setting my positive intentions:

  • I have a smooth and easy time in India
  • I meet amazing, friendly, nice people
  • I am always safe and protected
  • I deepen my spiritual connection
  • I have amazing adventures

I began reciting my intentions over and over in my head.

Guess what?

It worked!

The six months I spent this second time in India were truly magical. Every intention I set happened to the maximum degree.

  • I met amazing people.
  • I always felt safe.
  • I got amazing places to stay.
  • I accomplished all of my adventures. (Cycling from Manali to Leh, Cycling from Leh to Srinagar, kayaking the Zanskar Gorge and Upper Indus, Trekking the Marka Valley)
  • I deepened my spiritual practices
  • I made an amazing short film
  • I became a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher
  • I met a healer and did alot of personal growth work
  • I met my life partner
  • Doors opened.

Every single intention I set happened.

(Truth be told I didn’t want to leave, and can’t wait to go back.)

My whole life changed while I was there, and it felt like true transformation.

I deepened my commitment to yoga, healing, and meditation. And it is now the path I am pursuing.

I got the feeling while I was in India to come to Bali, and that Bali would be my new base.

I am now in Bali.

Never having been here before I am trusting the guidance and doors are opening.

My new intention is:

  • Thank you for the magnificent outcome in Bali

My heart feels like it is still in India, and sometimes I wonder why I am here and not there.

I am getting clear that my purpose in life is this journey of self discovery and where it brings me.

Bali is bringing:

  • healing
  • amazing connections with like minded people
  • fantastic yoga
  • lovely local people
  • calm, peace, and healthy living
  • continued personal growth

Everyday I am feeling grateful that I took the first step two years ago to go to India, and continue this journey of self discovery.

What led me there was yoga, faith, and following my heart.

A friend once told me that taking a leap of faith is like being on the flying trapeze. You can’t grab the next trapeze until you let go of the one you are on.

So I have let go of the old trapeze. I am asking for guidance everyday, and trusting that I am exactly where I am meant to be right now, and that the more I open, doors will open, and it is proving to be true.

Thank you!

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