Saturday, August 04, 2012

A question by a reader

I was wondering if you can maybe help me? I want to start making Ashtanga yoga part off my daily practice, but I don't know where to start. Doing the whole primary serie everyday is to much or is it? And not all of the poses I can do yet. I've always practicing Iyengar style, but the more I read about Ashtanga yoga, the more I love Ashtanga's meditative nature and I fell in love with the way Pathabi Jois brings yoga. The only thing is, that I don't know how much I should be doing everyday and where to start. Now I read your blog (Amazing stuff, thanx!) and you have taken fabulous photo's, that helps allot. So I think, maybe this way I can improve my practice, but when do I start with more than just Surya Namaskar A and B? And how many poses per day etc? Can you help me please? Thanks so much for you time! 

The primary series is the beginning. In the beginning it might last longer, but finally 90 min might be enough time.

1. Time might be a reason why it can be difficult to do a whole series.
2. Lack of strength and perseverance might be another reason.

To point 1: Go to bed earlier, stop watching TV, and and and...... It's a challenge for the mind to find enough time. In a workshop Danny Paradise once said: If your job doesn't allow you to practice yoga, change your job. Be creative.  The morning is the best time to practice.
To point 2: Build up your practice slowly. Start with the surya namaskaras,the standing sequence, paschimottanasana and then the closing sequence. If this is already too much then do less asanas and add one by one. As soon as you feel relaxed with your routine add the next asana or the next two.

Before my trip to India I was not able to do all the vinyasas when I practiced alone, I felt too weak. I did the vinyasas only before the next asana not between sides. Nowadays I do full vinyasa, means that I return after each asana to standing position. I think it feels better. My strength was built slowly. Nothing must be proved. Take your time.

You mentioned that you're not able to do all the asanas. Of course not. Do what is possible. Find your limits. Don't forget to breathe. Important is not to omit an asana because it's difficult. This is an important Ashtanga rule.
Time is limited from time to time then make a choice what to practice but don't omit the difficult ones or those you don't like. It's finally your practice, find out what is good for you.

Be patient.
P. Jois said: Practice and all is coming.


Ann said...

What excellent advice, as always. It's helpful for all of us, not just the intended recipient. Thank you, Ursula.

Ursula said...

Thank you, Ann.

I thought that the question could be of general interest, this is why I made a post out of it (wink, wink).

Samyak Yogi said...

Excellent thought to begin the practice of Ashtanga Primary series. We too at samyak yoga are designing a set of asanas which can prepare the body to take up the full practice.

and one more thing... your blog is full of thought provoiking articles.. can't stop reading them...

really appreciate...
Samyak Yoga

Ursula said...

Thank you for reading. :)