Sunday, February 19, 2012

Remarks on the comments to my last post

1. I studied sociology. When I wanted to finish university I had to look for professors who tested my knowledge. I could propose topics. My third subject beside sociology and psychology was theater which included also film. I went to a professor who had focused on theater (stage). I asked him if he could give me a topic on movies. He said to me: "Why do you not go to a professor who is specialized in movies?" And right he was. He was a very confident professor and he suggested a topic: movie on stage. There was a tendency on stage to integrate play and film. Rather interesting. I distract. This was my topic
If someone asks someone who practice Asthanga yoga what to practice, it's very likely that this is what is recommended, don't you think so?
Even though I'm very cautious, but if someone already likes to practice vinyasa yoga he is so close to the source.......I mean.....

2. Ashtanga yoga is safe. Beginners don't injure themselves in general. Beginners in led classes might get frustrated, because they are not able to do the poses. I wouldn't say that this injures the soul. Otherwise they are not able to injure themselves. The injuries start after a few years of practice, when greed sets in. The yogi/yogini starts wanting more and more and he/she becomes impatient. In the meantime the possibility to go too far is given. Then injuries happen. Beginners only play yoga. They are far away from their limits (and with this also far from injuries).
Vinyasa classes are crowded here, no individual teaching happens, injuries are as likely as in a led Ashtanga class.

3. I've practiced all styles of yoga: Bikram injured me the first time seriously on the neck. In this hot room I couldn't feel my body anymore and we were pushed like soldiers in a military camp. I don't need this. My friend was injured, too.  I was very exercised that time back. I wrote about this experience on my blog. I could only stand life with Aspirin for a week.
I saw a lot of people doing their first Ashtanga class. I've never heard about such a story or of any injuries. Most people liked it. It's true, Ashtanga yoga is not so wide-spreaded like these music classes. Often only led classes are offered and not Mysore classes. Best is of course to learn Ashtanga yoga in a Mysore class step by step.
Never expect perfection. Make the best out of the given situation.

4. These invented yoga styles like Bikram, also Jivamukti, Anasura (there is now a scandal in this community because of.........I'm not interested in scandals.) The most important thing is that all these new styles are created because some people wanted to make money or they wanted to create something on their own (big big ego). I've nothing against it. Not at all. But it's good to know.
The old yogis wanted you to become enlightened. They wanted to show you a way out of the misery that you might feel in daily life. If you get a sexy body or not was not important. A sexy body is a great joy, but not a solution for your life issues.
Do you see and feel the difference???? Yoga can just be another distraction, it can set goals like a six pack on your abdomen to impress a potential lover, but it can also be a guide how to live, how to view the world and oneself. This was the intention originally. You get a neck massage perhaps, you listen to some music in these modern yoga classes. Some people even preach: ah, we love each other, ohhhhhhh.....and happiness for everybody.
If it's necessary to practice Ashtanga yoga in order to understand that "life happens" is another topic. Ashtanga and Advaita belong together.

I found the source, I don't need cross training. For what? When I want to listen to music I switch on my Harmon kardon  and I listen to songs that provoke me to dance. When I want a neck massage I go to my boyfriend. When I want to be in a hot room I go to a sauna. I don't need to listen to a philosophy fantasized by a bendy yogi or yogini. I've left the catholic church behind me and will never go back. I don't need someone who tells me how to live my life. Yoga is not a religion, some want to make one out of it. Yoga is a technique. Be curious and listen where it leads you when you practice. Start with the asanas. Listen to yourself.......Nothing else is necessary.

Practice Asthanga yoga and you know the difference! Don't settle for less. I don't. 


Anonymous said...

An excellent explanation, opinion, commentary, Ursula!! I feel I know you and I like and respect what I know, immensely! Namaste.

Ursula said...

Dearest Debb, I was not sure if I should publish this post. But one cannot please everybody.
I'm in the lucky position that I can express what comes up without considering anything. This is luxury.

We can stay on the surface for our whole life in anything. There is always a new distraction. a new person, a new hobby a new yoga style. I'm very happy that I've found one area in my life where it's easy to go deeper and not to stay superficial. It's satisfying.

I'm very glad that you commented....:)Now I can sleep peacefully and forget my post. Thank you.

Kitharo said...

Great Post and as always very motivating :) I think the problem is that we always think "Oh maybe this yoga style is better" - we're always trapped in our competetive mind.

I know everyone can do Ashtanga, but do you think there's a personality type drawn to Ashtanga? Because honstly, I inhabite some of the Ashtange personality clishees and I know other people who do, too. So what's your take on this?
Namaste :)

Ursula said...

Of course I have an opinion on this, Kitharo.....tomorrow I'll try to formulate it.......

Thanks for the comment as well.
That way it's easy to write posts that interest.

Good night. It's late here. I get up early. A Mysore class is on the schedule tomorrow morning....:)


dtw said...

Fantastic post - well said!

Ann said...

Hi Ursula,
These same reasons are why I've been investigating Ashtanga. As usual, you are hitting the nail on the head. Thank you.

Bettina said...

In one point I have to disagree, Ursula. Of course it is possible that beginners injure themselves. I would even say that it is more likely in the beginning than after some years of practice. I was told about many Ashtanga related injuries and I think most of them happened rather in an early practice state. The wrong mindset can also be there right from the beginning. But this should not discourage anybody from starting Ashtanga. The benefits are still greater by far.

Anna said...

Fantastic post Ursula! So much of yoga has been co-opted by turbo-Capitalism: as usual. Look at the yoga magazines like Yoga Journal -- all you see is commercialisation, dollars, physical perfection, articles on positivity and self-love. Sell, sell, sell - yoga American style.

Ursula said...

It's really an interesting topic how yoga has changed since the Americans have discovered it and since they market it.

I'm pleased that you liked my post...:)