From David's Ashtanga Journals: Has your progress plateaued?
Yoga continues to ask you to change, to sacrifice, to give up harmful habits and behaviors. Yoga not only asks you to give up things, it asks you to cultivate and build new patterns. Practice asks you to repeat postures, the breathing technique, and to concentrate day after day. The intensity of commitment and devotion needs to keep growing–OR RATHER THAT CHOICE IS THERE FOR YOU–If you want to move beyond the plateau, if you want new layers of depth and power to be revealed you might have to call up more commitment, more change from within your self.
To some extent developing your ability to handle power and force and the "depth" of asana is partially determined by how energy is set in motion and how much energy is in play within you while doing the posture. Distraction, pain, extra weight, spacey-ness, sudden bouts of lethargy, depression all serve to dampen the energy that goes into play in an asana. All manner of diversions share the characteristic of dampening life force. Do you see that? To be truly engaged in life, living your dreams, putting your self, your creativity, your love on the line takes tremendous energy. You have to be able to manage those levels of energy. Going into a depression or eating or day dreaming about a different life or thousands of other diversions gives you an escape valve. If you go and have a beer or smoke a joint or dip into the pint of Ben and Jerry's you are temporarily relieved but that relief is momentary. Because a large source of our panic, desperation, anxiety, loneliness and unhappiness comes from not attaining the strength to allow the full extent of our life force, our power to come into play in our bodies, lives and spirits.
Can you learn to enlarge your capacity to enjoy, process and transform large amounts of energy within yourself?
Do you really need to divert and dampen your energy with often old repeated patterns?
Isn't it time to really observe, really feel, go through fear, and allow more love to enter into your world?
That is what practice is ultimately for. Why not let it do its work? Stop interfering. Stop standing in the way. Let the love in, let the fire in, the challenge, the risk, and let love come out. The practice is there in front of you each day now do what is necessary to really do it. Do all the advance preparation, arrange your life so that you show up at your best, ready to dive into that special world. That world of posture, breath, sequence of intense concentration and exertion. You've had at least glimpses of what is there for you, now is the time.