Wednesday, December 09, 2009

We Ashtangis know what it means to go through the valley of tears

But we Ashtangis, we go through this valley, we go.
I was stiff this morning. I sweared to follow an ascetic lifestyle while I practiced and while I felt stiff.
Something consoles me: However I feel in the beginning - stiff, flexible, average, super-good, at the end it is always better than in the beginning. Today it went better and better till it was over.
I leaped ahead in the last 5 weeks. I am happy.
And then I met wonderful people, we laughed a lot and it was simply a great afternoon.


Anonymous said...

"Do your pratique and all is coming" ... Also sprach Guruji.

I do not know in which circumstances Sharath said "no pain, no gain", but in my "humble" opinion, Yoga is the antidote to the prescription “no pain, no gain.”

The greatest benefits of yoga come from relaxing into a pose, rather than forcing your body into it.

Let the asanas flower from the inside, rather than impose or force them from the outside.

Please cultivate the attitude of effortlessness, embrace, rather than fight, your physical limitations and do not waste your life energy by struggling and straining.

May all beings be happy ...

Ursula said...

I agree and also prefer a more soft and attentive approach to the practice.

Nevertheless I think you don't know how Guruji approached the pracitce. Sharath likes to tell a story: P. Jois kept Sharath so long in a story and it was painful that the grandma shouted: don't kill my grandson. This was not only a joke!!
The Western approach is soft, ah.

The Indian approach was in my opinion not soft but painful.

To stretch and to gain muscles always comes with something I'd call pain, positive pain. From nothing, nothing comes. Sorry.

Ursula said...

asana of course not story

Anonymous said...

T.Krishnamacharya was very hard teacher to "certain" students like P.Jois or BNS Iyengar, etc. But not to Indra Devi or Srivatsa Ramasawami, etc.

It was T. Krishnamacharya who also said ... "Yoga should adapt to each person, not contrary."

If you read many of Guruji's public talks reported by "Guy" the belgian, it seems go in this sense, too.

So the question is ... if this hard approch, "no pain, no gain" method is convient for you. Surely only you know the answer.

I personally understand that if sharath said "no pain, no gain", he may want to mean the "perseverance" of pratice. I am not sure that you must hurt you, or feel the pain in praticing yoga.

You can gain the power and the strength "more easily" in relaxing into a pose, rather than forcing your body into it, even though I think you know that Yoga is much more than to stretch and to gain muscles.

May all beings be happy.

Ursula said...

In order to develop in which direction ever, I think we must go to our limits and a bit further. We know when we reach our limits through pain. The body tells us this that way.

It is positive pain, it is information, a warning. I'm almost never injured, nor do I hurt myself, but I improve strength and flexibility.
To force oneself and to fight is something different.
Preseverence is also somehting different than to give 100 %, which is not possible on every day.
To relax when in a pose is another technique we learn when we do Ashtanga yoga. It is possible to feel the limits (the body shows the limits through pain) and to relax into it. It is a positive experience.
It is difficult to understand, but I am sure you understand: it is passivity and activity at the same time.
Effort and let it happen, relaxation.

Life happens!

Mary said...

I am not an Ashtangi, however, I currently practice Vinyasa(flow) yoga. There is a term we use ..going to the "edge" of a posture.., meaning the point in a pose where you feel tension, not pain, yet you are past "the comfort zone". This is where growth to the next level in the posture begins. I live by this motto in my own personal practice. It keeps my body healthy and also allows my yoga practice to grow stronger.
To be honest, I've experienced far too many yoga teachers pushing students too far, too quickly and have witnessed (and experienced) too many injuries.
I was curious Ursula, do Ashtangis have a similar philosophy of working to the "edge" (I have only taken a couple of Ashtanga classes) or is it a more intense experience?...

Ursula said...

Thank you Mary, you describe it very well.

....something is felt this is sure and it slowly becomes stronger if we ignore this feeling.

It is a personal thing how far we go I think. The longer we practice the better we know ourselves and the deeper we can go without injuring ourselves.
Some people are ambitious some not so much, this all influences our practice, I think.

Thank you for your comment.