I came to Ashtanga by default. I had been attending a power yoga class where I used to live in Northampton and the teacher went on maternity leave . An Ashtanga teacher had re located to the area and she continued with the class – and so did the students.
Ashtanga is a flow based yoga style where movement is linked to the breath and we flow through a set series of postures which are held for 5 breaths . And it has a bit of a reputation for being tough . I had no idea about this when I started – I just continued to attend the class and instead of teacher X there was teacher Y at the front of the class .
I’m not going to lie – its not an easy practice...
I’m not going to lie – its not an easy practice – but if yoga was easy – there would be no point in it.
The more I practiced the more fascinated I became as I could see how my body and mind were changing. I was stonger , more flexible , had more stamina , focus and courage .
Everyone has at least one “ nemesis “ pose which if you are “ lucky “ you meet only a few times a year in a vinyasa flow class.
In Ashtanga you meet it EVERY time you step on the mat . My first reaction when I met mine was to avoid it . But theres only so many times you can have a “ sudden “ need to go to the loo , adjust your clothing , cough , sneeze , blow your nose or have a drink of water before your teacher notices or you just feel really silly . Then , when I realised that I couldn’t avoid it I got angry . I mean REALLY angry .
But being angry is so exhausting , time consuming and futile – because the pose isn’t going to go away . So I gave it , softened and opened to the pose and its possibilities .
I accepted where I was on my journey and the limitations which went with that . I took modifications . When I fell , I smiled and got back on with it . And over time I found that my nemesis pose wasn’t actually that bad after all . And whilst we shall never be best friends we are acquaintances and can tolerate each others company .
Ashtanga teaches us to be humble...
More than any other style of yoga , Ashtanga teaches us to be humble and to accept where we are on our own unique path .But in return it gives us so much back whether on a physical , spiritual or mental level .
Yoga , just like life is a journey that has many twists and turns . Don’t resist what is thrown at you – take it in , accept it and embrace it.
I teach Ashtanga twice a week and have 2 special workshops planned throughout the year.