"I am glad you have found a love for yoga. However, you may want to make sure that your practice is blaanced, IE not just the ashtanga asnana, but rather practicing Ashtnaga yoga in the classical sense.
Have you explored the other branches/ limbs of yoga?
I think that ahtanga can create in some people a kind of addiction to the physicality of the practice and a stronger attachment to one's body.
Enjoy the practice, but be mindful and focus on the other 7 branches of yoga as well.
Susan Martinez, Director
Healing Lotus Yoga & Reiki"
Thank you very much Susan for your comment. It inspires me to write a post.
Here are the 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga.
1. Yama (being non-violent towards others, living vegan i.e.)
2. Niyama (being content)
3. Asanas (the practice of physical postures)
4. Pranayama (controling the breath)
5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
6. Dharana (focusing the attention in one direction)
7. Dhyana (meditation)
8. Samadhi ("enlightenment")
I think it shows much understanding that you mentioned 7 branches of the yoga system. It's true Nr 1 through Nr 7 can be exercised, Nr 8 "enlightenment" is a mercy.
Again I start loving this practice even more (this is possible). Ashtanga yoga practice combines the different limbs in one practice. How wonderful is that:
When I practice the asanas and vinyasa (limb3), I also do pranayama (uddjay breathing, limb4), I withdraw the senses (limb5/6), because I focus on the breath. Finally I sit in meditation pose (limb7). It's one of the last asanas.
Yama: The practice also teaches me to eat well, to eat consciously, not to do harm to animals. This is surely not a necessary consequence of the practice.
Niyama: Am I content? I'm much more, I feel thankful to have found this practice, very thankful.
Ashtanga yoga is made for the average housholder and not only for sanyasins, who dedicate the whole life to yoga practices. Ashtanga yoga shall allow the practitioner of this style to have a family and a job beside the daily yoga practice. This is why different practices like asanas, pranayama, meditation are practiced within one practice. Of course they can be practiced separately in addition. Then the practice can easily prolong to 5 or 6 hours.
Limb Nr 8:
I want to finish with a quote by David Carse in "perfect brilliant stillness": " 'You' don't 'do' things; nor does anyone else; events happen, and they happen through mind/body organisms as instruments, including the one you call yourself." (page 292)
This is the true liberation.
Same book, page 292: "'You' are no more responsible for what occurs through the mind/body you call your'self' than the flute is responsible for the music played on it by the musician."
And this one from page 360: And yet. Yet if only once for a moment, there could be letting go, if there could be that pop of the shift in focus and the individual self seen beyond, seen for what it is, "an echo, a rainbow, a phantom, and a dream," then there is something. Then the individual self was simply a thought, and idea; a 'false imagination' that cried out for comforting. When the true nature of things is seen, apperceived, then there comes something far beyond comfort, though there is nothing any longer that needs it."
Does it require to do yoga with all the limbs to understand this? My answer: No.
Then why to practice yoga? Because it's fun for me. I love it. And who can explain love?
By the way: You can order the book by David Carse "perfect brilliant stillness":
David Carse visited the satsangs by Ramesh Balsekar in Mumbai.
The book is excellent.
All words and concepts and opinions lead only to more discussions, more words, more misunderstanding. Much storm for nothing. I've heard that this was one of the reasons why P. Jois said "99% practice and 1 % theory". Good so.
(This does not mean that I don't love to discuss this topic. I do!)
Time to take a bath, to feel the hot water around my body, to smell the essences that I usually pour into the water, I'll see my feet coming out of the foam and I'll be entertained. Ah............
Yep, I'm very attached to my body. I love my body. Life happens through it.
Friday has come: happy weekend to everybody.