Every year January marks my Ashtanga yoga anniversary. I discovered Ashtanga in January 2010 while living in Edinburgh. I blogged about my love for Karen and that basement studio back in 2012. They have since moved and evolved into an amazing studio, Meadowlark Yoga. I cannot wait to come in for a class when we're there in June.
Ashtanga is a relentless challenge and not everyone likes it. While I do not practice it exclusively any longer, I keep coming back to it over and over again. The rhythm of the practice, the routine of the poses with breath, and the discipline of it is just so good. I celebrated "Ashtanga April" last year, which was a month of self-imposed ashtanga only practice, culminating in a week long workshop with Saraswathi Jois, which was CRAZY. I blogged about it and shared some of my favorite online Ashtanga resources.
Ashtanga is not for those wanting immediate gratification. It's the same 26 postures (if you're doing primary series), in the same sequence, day after day after day. It has been five years since I started doing these postures. I wish I could say that they are all much easier than the day I learned them, but that's just not how yoga works. Some are easier-- no question. But others are significantly more difficult due to changes in my body, stress or strain, and interest in attempting them. For example, I no longer have any desire to execute chakrasana on the regular, so it is very sloppy. AND THAT'S OK.
I know some strict Ashtangis would disapprove, but I like to dip in and out of the practice, completing primary series once or twice a week.
I was inspired to write this post after successfully executing the headstand variation above. I have been wanting to try these for awhile, but was a little scared. I have finally realized that I will do it when I know I can and want to. Everything I've been afraid of I've eventually accomplished (in yoga...haha). I no longer am chasing postures and variations, I simply practice every day and if I notice that I feel like I can, I do.
It feels good.