Lately a friend asked me to recommend a yoga class to her colleague. Till now I have not answered, because I really wondered if I can recommend Ashtanga yoga? Ashtanga yoga is the yoga I like most. Wouldn't it be too demanding that newcomers feel overwhelmed, I wonder?
Wouldn't it be so that this person would run away with the opinion: Ashtanga yoga is awful, because it's too much at once?
I tended to recommend something with music, as music is almost uplifting: Jimamukti yoga.
I tended to recommend something soft: Sivananda yoga.
Perhaps even Anasura yoga would be a good start, because it is taught in a most beatiful yoga studio here.
I wouldn't mention Bikram yoga. I injured my neck the first time I did it. The heat (sauna like room) didn't allow me to feel my body and my limits. The teacher pushed and pushed like in a military camp. I cannot recommend such a style.
How can I be so convinced about Ashtanga yoga, but recommend something else?
Before our last led class last time we discussed this topic and I must agree:
Ashtanga yoga seems to be so demanding because we usually learn it in led classes. We have to practice all the asanas at once, if we have done anything with our body or not.
But Ashtanga yoga is supposed to be learned in Mysore classes, step by step, asana by asana. I wondered if it isn't a bit boring to do only the surya namaskara A and B and one or two poses perhaps? It won't last 1 hour in addition. But it seems not to be boring. I asked newcomers and I saw how they sweated and how they reached their limits. Surya namaskaras are also not a piece of cake. I still have to improve them after 8 years of practicing.
It needn't to be how it is often here in the Western world: People are stopped when not able to do an asana almost perfectly. In India in THE shala I saw that yogis progressed rather fast. Every week new poses were shown, if a pose was mastered or not. But this also means that there is a progression, and not how it is in a led class, that every demanding pose has to be practiced on the first day already.
Can I recommend Ashtanga yoga after this discussion? I think it's important to know the expectations. Nice to see that there is something for everybody on the market. :)
Time to start my own practice. It will be second series. I'll start with the CD by Sharath, it's an easy start.
The picture reflects my mood: dark, dark, dark. At least I made the picture as small as possible. Hahahaha.