Streamline your practice

 

November 2013
I spent last week in Utah at 3B Yoga doing a Primary Series Intensive training with Amy Williams and Jen Rene. I have been practicing and teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga for over 6 years now and it continues to surprise me how much depth there is to a set of postures that by and large does not change.

The Primary Series or Yoga Chikitsa (Yoga Therapy) as it's known, is the first of {6} intelligently sequenced sets of asanas brought forth byPatthabi Jois (also known as guruji). Sometimes my ashtanga practice is more consistent than others. Every time I re commit to my daily practice I rediscover the unique healing power of Ashtanga. It's not healing like a soft bubble bath, it's healing more like an intense talk therapy session. It breaks you down and brings you home to yourself. And even though I love, practice and teach many styles of yoga, I haven't found that kind of power in anything else.

My main take away from the week?

Streamline your practice. 

Jen (of Ashtanga Dispatch) really embodies the no nonsense approach to ashtanga. She encouraged us all week to get rid of extra movements and flourishes that don't aid our practice. She detailed various parts of the primary series where we can find a more direct path from point A to point B. And even though that path may be more difficult (it often is), she emphasized the efficiency of movement that will eventually come.

This streamlined approach to movement is very healing and meditative for me. After this week I feel lighter, as though I finally let go of some things, both physical and otherwise. And I guess that's the healing of Yoga Chikitsa.

So thanks to Jen for an enlightening week.

I look forward to joining my students tomorrow at Amara (7 PM) for a straight-to-the-point led primary series class.