Asana is an invitation to say goodbye to the past and arrive at the truth of the present moment.
How do past emotions, thoughts, and impressions manifest in the body?
Some students of yoga experience a lot of anger on commencing forward bending. This is due to past anger having been stored in the hamstrings. If we consciously let go of the anger, the emotion will disappear. If not, it will surface in some other form, possibly as an act of aggression or as a chronic disease. Other students feel like crying after intense backbending. Emotional pain is stored in the chest, where it functions like armor, hardening around the heart. This armor may be dissolved in backbending. If we let go of the armor, a feeling of tremendous relief will result, sometimes accompanied by crying. Extreme stiffness can be related to mental rigidity or the inability to let oneself be transported into unknown situations. Extreme flexibility, on the other hand, can be related to the inability to take a position in life and to set boundaries. In this case, asana practice needs to be more strength based, to create a balance and to learn to resist being stretched to inappropriate places.
Asana invites us to acknowledge the past and let it go. This will in turn bring us into the present moment and allow us to let go of limiting concepts such as who we think we are.