Monthly Archives: September 2015

Practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa

I have been inspired to practice and encouraged to practice differently these days.   It’s been hard to change old habits and to come to the practice with a new set of eyes.  To take what I thought was good enough for myself and to expand into new depths of the practice.  I started to understand that these self imposed limitations may be just that – self imposed.  Could I go deeper, could I get through the discomfort and sometimes pain have been attached to? Was I able to see the light at the other side of whatever I was working on?

This yoga practice, the Ashtanga yoga method is a wonderful tool that we have to work towards letting go and controlling the mind and to healing. The breath being the guide and this method of having one prescribed movement with each breath.  I thought about what the description of vinyasa is and what we say when we refer to Ashtanga as a vinyasa system of moving with the breath.  The key point that one may ask is; What is the harm in taking an extra breath here and there? What about taking our time getting into poses and even getting out of them? We are still moving and breathing.  For me, it gave me an opportunity to dwell and to think and to do something besides what I set out to do . . . YOGA.   I understood that every time my hand went down to the floor to touch habitually, every time I looked down or I did something else like touch my hair and clothes, that I was just using delay tactics.  I was stalling.  I always thought that I respected the vinyasa of the Ashtanga method . . . the primary series at least. I may have respected it but I wasn’t doing it.

I have been working on actually doing it for a few months now with a teacher.  She is a rock and is instilling in me techniques that I am able to incorporate into practice and translate.  She doesn’t see or believe in my limitations and only shares in the possibilities.  In actuality they are only my self imposed limitations and her strength and “apana” is catchy.  The firmness is catchy and after years into this practice I am amazed at the power of the practice to heal.  It has been a challenge for me.  I knew it was doable and instead of being disappointed in myself because I could not do it, I kept trying.  I have to keep reminding myself to let go of judgements and expectations and my thinking.    The prescription is the practice.  Today I had FUN.

It is a continual ebb and flow just like your days at the home, office or studio.  Enjoy the ride!


Sill working on utthita trikonasana

Photo Credit:  Christine Løve Hewitt/Mysore 2014