Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ashtanga yoga is not for everybody.


When younger one must try out things, activities, almost everything. Later in life one knows more and more the preferences. It's all about being in harmony with the being one is. If one has found what fits to oneself it's more likely that one is content (to say the least) and it's more likely that one keeps going.

I'm not a group person. To play baseball would be a nightmare for me. Nobody would like me in the group, too, as I'm not tall enough.
Soccer is a smart game with a lot of fun. Yet one can practice it when younger. Most people stop it at a rather young age. And then?

I live in a cold area. Outdoor sports are nothing for me. I know people who run also in the snow. This is not me.

It shall be healthy: Most people who play tennis have sooner or later a tennis arm. Diving and skiing are sports with a high risk to get injured. No, thank you.

Aikido was something for me. Yet my working hours didn't allow me to go to classes. One needs a partner for this activity. One has to go to a class. The hierarchy in the Ashtanga community didn't convince me either.

Are you looking for fun? Ashtanga yoga is work on oneself. It feels good, it's satisfying. But fun? Scarcely.

Why Ashtanga yoga is something for me:
- The whole body and mind is exercised.
- I can also do it alone. I don't have to go to classes.
- I can do it for the rest of my life. There are yogis/yoginis which are in their 90th.
- I'm not a group person, yet rather a lonesome wolf.
- Living in a cold area, outdoor sports are nothing for me. I like to have it warm.
- That the community is international is an extra plus.
- I want to have something that challenges me.
- I love the asanas, I love the goal: peace of mind. In soccer one wants to win. I don't care.

Of course one can switch activities every few years. Then one is always beginner. Being beginner or having beginner's mind is a difference. For me it feels good to be an advanced beginner.

When I want to have something new, I go to a new shop and buy myself a new pullover. Yesterday I've been at Abercrombie & Fitch. What an experience. I'll write about it.

Picture: Part of Aikido is to fight with a wooden sword.

If you want to become a master, find out what fits to you, your personality, your life style, your body and then keep practicing, day in day out, decade after decade.


4 comments:

Kitharo said...

I think it's funny how we Ashtangis are all pretty similar in some aspects :-) I agree with all of these reasons, I bet many Ashtangis do. We're a weird group of people :-)
The photo: you looking amazingly young!
Greetings out of the snow!
- Julian

Ursula Preiss said...

Wow, you've snow, too? Fantastic.
Today it's cold and dry here, perfect winter weather.

A wild bunch of yogis and yoginis we are, I agree. :)

Thanks for the compliment. :)

Quentin said...

I am an advanced beginner Ashtanga yogi and must admit traditional western USA studios frown upon someone like me entering their studio. I have same idiosyncrasies that most Ashtanga yoga people have.

It is a blessing and it helps to have a sense of humor when leading a class, unlike non Ashtanga yoga studios in the United States with different rules and etiquette.

I like the freedom of Astanga yoga with one being able to do beginner, intermediate or advanced poses during a led class. Simplicity of the sequence is healing and love having a teacher that does not practice with the class.

In US, very popular for teacher to be up front practicing with class and everyone in lock step following verbal cues to the tee, turning neck to see teacher. Teachers become upset with students that do advanced pose when she is doing beginner version for example.

Authorized Astanga teachers are rare but very good and it is a joy to find a certified or authorized teacher in Ashtanga!!!

But I love practice alone, but often practice in the gym or public locations. I learned yoga outdoors on a platform with view of the ocean...so peaceful.

Ursula Preiss said...

Thanks for your comment, Quentin.

You're right with the teacher.

I was very astonished when I've been in the US years ago and when I attended an Ashtanga yoga class and the teacher was practicing with us.

Happy practices.