Saturday, December 04, 2010

Two recommendations for the first Ashtanga years


My poll that was up lately told me that many readers of my blog practice up to 5 years Ashtanga yoga. I practice now 7 years. What advice can I give?

1. Start a home practice as soon as possible. Start slowly, let your practice grow according to your own abilities, but start. Why? Many of you will probably go to a led Ashtanga class. Not everywhere Mysore classes are offered. When you only go to led classes and then to a Mysore class it is likely that you do not know the order of the asanas (even though you've practiced them). The order of the asanas seem to be difficult to remember. Many Years Mr Swenson sat on my sofa (in form of his book). It was so difficult for me to remember which asana came next, not to speak about the Sanskrit names. Learn those, too. Your home practice makes you independant from circumstances.

2. In my first years I omitted a lot of asanas, or I practiced easy versions of some asanas. I thought that I'd never be able to practice some asanas, because, my arms were not long enough, or my calves too muscular, or because I were too old for some asanas. It turned out to be nonsense. I can do more than I ever thought. Right from the beginning on develop a positive attitude. Think: It's possible. This will help you much more to perform the challenging asanas of the Ashtanga series than the limiting thought: I cannot. Believe me, more is possible than you can imagine in the beginning.

The picture shows one example: In the first years I was convinced I'd never reach my toes with my hands when I cross my arms behind my back. It's possible now.

Digital cameras are a wonderful Christmas presents:

Thank you for buying your Christmas presents via my blog. :)

9 comments:

Flo said...

Great advice for those even beyond 2 years of practice. Your blog is always inspiring.

Ursula said...

Thank you Flo, and thank you for reading.

Loo said...

I liked this a lot. I need to start that home practice soon.

Ursula said...

Good luck.
It's worth the effort. :)

lilasvb said...

most of the time i do only home practise and some lucky time going to mysore or byron bay for a month class! but i do love my home practise even when my body is " on pain" like stick and not abble to do all serie
i also learn trought those days!! getting stronger is also getting patient for me
i do remember well all postures because i am used to body memories, what is hard is to remenber the asana's name!!!!
i like reading your blog, it's new and i learn

YoginiSamantha said...

I remember when I started yoga, there were poses that I never ever thought would be possible for me. Then slowly many of those poses opened up for me. I too definately can do poses I never thought were possible. I almost feel it was gift that at first I looked at those poses and dimissed them. I had no expectations. I just showed up and viola- it happened!

Ursula said...

Daily practice really changes the body for the better. Patience is necessary, but this develops also.

Krishna said...

Since I am in my first year in Ashtanga( though I had a decade of a gentler Hatha practice ) those recommendations are very well valid for me .

Ursula said...

I'm glad to read this Krishna.