Larry, my dear teacher used to say,“your limits are your protection”. It is amazingthat the knowledge that he shared deepened within me in time and when I practice I can understand a broader dimension of his teachings.
Your limits is the place where your body can still work with higher levels of tension and stress. You will know when you are getting close to your edge when your breathing changes to a restricted manner and sometimes you don’t even notice that you are holding your breath already., which is not advisable for a healthy yoga practice.
An uncomfortable type of breathing will trigger many chemical reactions in your body due to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This is a part of your nervous system that will awaken a type of response called “fly or fight”mode.
Some of the physical reaction that you will experience are:
- Shortening of breath
- Body tension
- Increase in the heart rate
- Increased levels of adrenaline
- Muscle contraction
If the sympathetic nervous system is active for too long it will suppress others systems such as the following:
- Digestive system
- Reproductive System
- Parasympathetic nervous system
Stay behind your limits so that you will be able to still breathe softly, and naturally activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the system which is responsible to promote relaxation in the body. By being in a more relaxed state,,your body can open up in a safe way. Practicing this way will promote an organic expansion of your limits instead of forcing and punching your way through it. Breathe and be patient with the necessary time that your body needs to gradually open. It is crucial to understand that a change in the body cannot be forced or rushed, as many systems including the mind needs to be adjusted.
In this deep transformative process that we called practice stay connected with your breathing and the rest will fall into place by itself.