Thursday, February 20, 2014

What to do if there is no Ashtanga yoga teacher in town?

"Thanks for your comments. The problem is that I don't have a ashtanga teacher in my town. I am commited to practice everyday, but sometimes I find muself practicing a sequence of simple Hatha yoga instead of continuing withe practice of ashtanga. Last year, fro 7 months I practiced with a certified teacher and I saw the progress both in asana and in the rest. But alone and without a teacher sometimes is really difficult to be faithful to the method. Any suggestions?" 

It's easier to go to a Mysore class every morning than to practice at home for sure. 
Yet there are many many examples of Ashtanga yogis/yoginis who practice in the morning without a shala round the corner. Some yogis/yoginis are also so advanced that they don't find a teacher for themselves anymore.

It might look as a disadvantage, yet it can also be a possibility to grow if one is forced to practice alone. Learn to be disciplined. Find out what motivates you in a way that gets you going.
It can be better to practice alone than to have an inexperienced or indifferent teacher in town.

During the years I've collected methods that make me practicing. Here are a few:
1. Practice with the CD by Sharath. It's the best on the market. You only have to switch it on the the show can go on......
2. Practice always at the same time. Know when you begin, but also when you want to have finished your practice. Limit the challenge.
3. Take pictures to get feed-back from them and enjoy your progress.
4. Write a yoga journal.
5. Plan to go to a workshop every 6 month.
6. Make your own list of triggers that motivate you. Get to know yourself.
7. Find a role model and imitate the behaviour.

At the end of last year MSch came to Munich. He offers Mysore classes at 6:30am. First I thought this is early. Yet when I arrived he was already in Savasana. Once we yogis/yoginis had breakfast together. I had to ask him what motivates him to practice every early morning alone. The voice of Sharath gets him going. The shala in India and to practice there is a huge motivator, I guess for many yogis/yoginis. I understand this.

There are always obstacles on the way. Name them and find a way to practice anyway. Let your mind find solutions. To practice yoga in the morning also alone might be difficult, but it is not out of reach.

I love to finish with one of the famous quotes by P. Jois: The body is not stiff, the mind is stiff.

Oh, and now I remember what a yogi once said in a workshop: If your job doesn't allow you to practice yoga then change the job.
If it's necessary for you to have an Ashtanga teacher move to a location where you find a teacher. You wouldn't be the first who did this.

Let it happen.


Filipa said...

Thank you so much for your suggestions. They are really useful. I always have this thought that alone, I am not going anywhere is such a demanding practice as Ashtanga is. But your words and inspiration will make me be stronger than that negative thought. Thanks once again for taking time to reply to me.

Ursula Preiss said...

My pleasure, Filipa. :)

Anna said...

Could you link to the Sharath cd?