I spent the last week teaching an Ashtanga Primary Series Immersion at Amara Yoga & Arts with Corrie Proksa. We had a group of 12 Ashtangis so full of life and excitement for the practice that the whole week had that buzzing feeling that one experiences post yoga.
For me, as a teacher, it was a beautiful week to watch my students break through physical and mental barriers they thought were true limiting factors for them. And I think that's a testament to the power of the Ashtanga Yoga method. If you dive in with an open mind and willing body, you will surprise yourself.
This week I was reminded of a few important lessons I've learned over the years about Ashtanga:
1. Ashtanga is not about 'getting' the next pose.
This one is best summed up by a David Williams quote:
"yoga is not about the pose, but about what’s goin’ on between the ears while you’re in the pose.”
Which leads nicely into...
2. Ashtanga is both an individual path and experience and a community activity and means for connection.
Your experience on your mat during Ashtanga is yours and yours alone. What goes through your mind and how it all feels in your body is something no one else can truly know about. But the strength that comes from a supportive teacher, and the energy that you feel from the ujjayi breath in the room is not an inconsequential part of that personal experience.
3. Everyone can do Ashtanga.
We had a lot of different body types, ages, asana ability, and knowledge about Ashtanga in our group this week. But everyone learned something, and everyone could practice, even if it didn't look like this. :)
I wish I could express in words the kind of feeling in the yoga room after each morning practice, especially Mysore. It was that intangible 'good vibes' atmosphere that is hard to recreate with words. Maybe these pictures will give you a little peak into the magic that was our week of Ashtanga.
Corrie and I are both still riding the high from a week with incredible students and an incredible yoga lineage and we can't wait to do it again!
Considering joining us next time? Be sure to get on my mailing list for updates on schedules for upcoming immersions and workshops.