I have had to deal with various physical issues such as suffering from dyspraxia and being involved in a severe car crash 7 years ago. I have had to work hard to improve my body, 6 years ago I really did not feel that it was in a good state. The best way to describe it was that I felt very uncomfortable in my own skin. Most of the time I was slightly hunched over, with a massive amount of tension in my neck, and as I’m sure you can expect I could not touch my toes.
Yoga has been instrumental in aligning my body and bringing me into physical balance. When I feel good in my body I feel like I can accomplish anything. By practicing yoga I have slowly been able to open up my body and day by day achieve postures which I just never EVER thought I would be able to do.
In a quest to start to feel better in my body, I started practicing ashtanga yoga every morning. When practicing you work your way though a sequence and stop at the posture you’re working on. Little by little your body opens and you are able to achieve the posture, then you are given a new more challenging one!
This has been an amazing experience for me. When I first started I would try to get into a particular position and think to myself, how the hell am I ever going to get into that position. But day by day your body opens and I’m telling you its possible!
When I would find a posture impossible I started to imagine myself in the difficult posture. I would visualise myself actually achieving the posture. I would hold the image in my minds eye and imagine what it felt like to be in that position.
And honestly when I’d next practice the position I’d been visualising I would be able to go a little bit further into the posture! I used to often hear people say in Yoga classes that where the mind is the body can go. As I have always had such a stiff body I couldn’t ever imagine that this was possible! But now I think it was my mind that was holding me back rather than my body. I am now actually witnessing what I thought was totally impossible and I believe that it’s true, where ever the mind goes the body goes too.
The body can change really quickly if you allow it to. Next time you are practicing a series of postures, try this technique yourself and visualise yourself achieving new postures. Then just notice what happens when you next practice!