In the last 6 months I’ve dedicated most of my time on the mat working through the Ashtanga Primary Series.  I struggle with my transition through the seated poses, the jump back has always felt elusive to me. When I attempt it,  I feel awkward, clumsy and stuck — unable to move from one pose to the next. For this reason, I avoid the transition all together during my self practice. I started to observe this avoidance and asked myself why? I don’t shy away from other poses that I find challenging or uncomfortable. I started to zoom in a little more on how my mind and body are when I attempt to jump back. I realized the connection between the breathe and the movement breaks down, sometimes I even find myself not breathing at all. I focus so hard on moving that I forget to breathe and then I can’t move at all (spoiler alert: also happens in life) Off the mat, I’ve always found myself in relationships, friendships, jobs and other situations where I feel the need to “stick around” and make it work, but I end up feeling “stuck” (yes, I referenced a Drake song) Especially, my most recent experience of staying in a job and a  relationship to the point of deterioration to my mental health.  I was aware of my unhappiness in both, but waited until I was pushed to my breaking point.  I mentally “stopped breathing” and became paralyzed. Emotionally, I shamed myself for not being able to “make it work”  so I just kept staying, rationalizing, and fighting. I let my emotions of feeling like a failure take over my ability to “breathe” through it and move onto what’s next. When we breathe, we can process what we are feeling while also letting it go. When we stop breathing, we’re trapped inside our emotions. On and off the mat, I have to remind myself that with each breathe, each movement, each day, there’s a beginning and an ending. We’re only stuck when we stop breathing.

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