Sunday, September 11, 2011

Provoked to write my own list....

Peg Mulqueen wrote a list on elephantjournal on why not to practice Ashtanga yoga. This provoked me to write my own list:

1. The yogis of earlier times left their families to dedicate their lives to yoga. Only few could do this. Krichnamacharya wanted to make yoga available for every householder. When I practice Ashtanga yoga I do pranayama, asanas, concentration and meditation at the same time. This shall save time to live a regular life in addition to the practice. The more passionate one becomes about the practice the more time-consuming it will become and the more difficult it becomes to be a yogini and to be an employee, mother, the same time. My daily practice alone needs 2 hours (without showering, commuting) It's difficult to have children, a job, a husband, friends and practicing Ashtanga yoga. The attempt to make Ashtanga yoga available for everybody equals a revolution. It can better the lives of the masses. Nevertheless the masses won't practice it, because it is time-consuming. Not everybody manages it to get up at 5am or earlier.

The advantage: Consciousness develops that time is limited. One is forced to learn about time management.

2. You need a long breath. Most people want a quick fix: Slim and strong in 30 days i.e is something people are attracted at. A lot of poses of the Ashtanga series need years till one might be able to do them, not 2 years, but even 5 years and longer! This is not for everybody. It makes you modest.

The advantage: You learn perseverance. It makes you mentally strong.

3. Sooner or later the wish comes up to travel to India! This is so. This can create conflicts with your beloved ones. Perhaps your partner doesn't like to come with you because such a trip is accompanied with dangers like illnesses. It also makes no sense to travel to India for  a week. You will like to stay for a few months. This indeed requires money and time. Planning this can be life changing for sure. To understand this might be difficult for those around you.

The advantage: Yeah, keep the fire burning, life is supposed to be exciting. Discover the world, discover yourself.

4. Practicing Ashtanga yoga is a lonesome trip. Those who don't practice it won't understand that you like to take your legs behind your head. Only a few like-minded people world-wide understand this.
The final goal is to practice alone. Also in a Mysore class you're alone on your mat. This requires a lot of intrinsive motivation. Practicing Ashtanga yoga is not playful. You're confronted with yourself.

The advantage: You get to know yourself.

5. Injuries happen. This is perhaps the point I don't like to write down at all. My body is resilient. I thought I'd never injure myself, but me too I've overstretched my hamstrings several times. Last week I was in an Ashtanga yoga studio in Berlin. The teacher asked me in the beginning if all body parts are OK. This told me that many yogis have something. It might be part of the journey to overdo from time to time, which is accompanied with an injury or sore muscles. Injuries are part of many sports. Soccer, skiing is much more dangerous. Doing nothing isn't healthy either.

The advantage: We learn to respect our limits and to be friendly to ourselves.

6. It's amazing how quickly one loses strength and flexibility. Knowing this, I also want to practice during vacation. My suitcase is full of yoga clothes. In addition I've to carry around my heavy yoga mat. A hotel room is only a good one when there is room for a practice. It's good to have a partner who respects that you like to practice also on vacation.

The advantage: Fun is guaranteed also on vacation, because I can always practice yoga. The practice is a point of reference in my life.

7. I personally prefer to spend my spare time in mixed groups, 50% men, 50% women. I don't know why men are not attracted to Ashtanga yoga, but usually in groups are 90% women. Mixed groups are more balanced. There is less gossip and perhaps also less rivalry.

The advantage: Lonesome men can indeed find a beautiful woman. Male partners usually have no reason to become jealous. Hahahaha. I personally love to meet my girl-friends. Having a common interest gives a lot of stuff to discuss, I enjoy this. Friendship with women is part of my life, too.


Every coin has two sides.

I don't know what could spoil my love to Ashtanga yoga.
Time to practice. My yoga week starts on Sundays with second series.

PS: Don't miss my blog on photograhy.


Arturo said...

Dear Ursula
There have been some of these lists flying around the blogosphere. Some are amusing, like seeing the lighter side of things. Your list is very good.

Ursula said...

Dear Arturo,
I only read the one of Peg, I felt like adding mine, too.

My love to Ashtanga yoga is unbroken. The longer I practice the more I focus only on that style. Years ago I didn't care to go to a Jivamukti class i.e. if no Ashtanga class was offered. Nowadays I prefer to practice alone: Ashtanga yoga.

Hugs, Ursula