One of the really cool things about the physical practice of yoga is how much you learn about your body. You learn your habits, your strengths, your weaknesses, your fears.
After about 13 years of ballet and 8 years of yoga after that, I know my body pretty well. Right now, I am focusing on letting go of my “limitations”. These things that I have made up my mind will never be a reality in my body. (For example, putting my foot behind my head.) I have accepted that there may be some things that I am unable to do and I am ok with that.
This can be very limiting. Of course, there are certain skeletal things about my body that I cannot change. But my musculature has changed significantly throughout the course of my life. And if yoga has taught me anything, it’s that your mind is very powerful. If you tell yourself over and over that you can’t do something, then guess what, you probably won’t do that thing.
My tiny step of progress in this: the other day I was taking a particularly sweaty class and we were doing Parsvottanasana (a standing forward bending pose) in which your hands are behind your back in a reverse prayer position. I have struggled with the hand position in this pose due to tight shoulders and wrists. But on this day, instead of saying “I can’t”, I thought “Why not?”. And you know what? My hands slipped right into that prayer.