I had a really tough time in terms of asana practice this week. My psoas muscle is extremely tight and my lumbar spine feels so stuck. Despite this pain, I’ve been pushing forward, as that’s the only thing I know to do. On Thursday, I celebrated the one year anniversary of beginning my Ashtanga journey. I practiced Full Primary series that day because I was afraid of practicing second series and having a ‘bad’ practice. I think I knew it would cause a breakdown, and I was right.
I went back to my full practice including second series on Friday, and I believe it was right after Kapotasana when I broke down. I realized that pushing myself this hard through this intense of pain is not sustainable. My teacher and I decided rest is very necessary for me right now; I even stayed home from led primary on Saturday morning, which was NOT EASY.
My teacher has been immensely helpful. She obviously cannot feel what I’m feeling or give me any answers as to what’s going on with my body. But she shares her own experiences with me and is very wise when it comes to using the mind to overcome physical challenges. Another teacher and Ashtanga practitioner at my studio, Chloe, is going through something similar to me, so it has also helped me to talk with her about all of it. We even started a little Ashtanga Yoga Toledo book club. 🙂
I’ve accepted a job in California that does not start until August. Until then, I am free to enjoy my time teaching and practicing yoga. It’s ironic how I finally have all of this time to spend practicing and my body is simply refusing. But in Ashtanga yoga, this is a pretty normal thing to occur during times of change. My body is asking me to stop placing so much emphasis on the physical side of this practice and instead tune into the needs of my emotional body. This practice is asking me to take a critical look into my life and remove any emotional baggage that might be holding me back.
During the week ahead you can catch me on the mat practicing full primary series. I’ll also be placing a greater emphasis on integrating the yamas, niyamas, and dhyana (meditation) into my daily routine. I won’t be putting my legs behind my head, even if my body feels like it can handle it (please yell at me if you see me doing this). I’ll simply be using a practice that I know and love dearly to help me stay grounded during this transitional time. Forever grateful. xx, Hope