There is only one Yoga but there are many way to practice it. Why I do love Ashtanga Vinyasa Practice?
Here are my 10 Reasons:
Every morning on my Yoga Mat I am learning how to practice safely, without hurting me by listening to my current needs, not pushing too far. I listen, hear, work and respect all my injuries.
I respect my Teacher, if he’s telling me “your practice stops here” I stop, I do not have any negatives thoughts about him. If the practitioner closed to me is sweating on my mat I don’t have any murderous impulses toward him/her, I am not in disgust.
If someone is breathing heavily I do not nourished any negative thought toward it, when someone can not do one asana that I found quite easy I do not laugh at it. That is the Non-Violence / Ahimsa.
When the Teacher asks about my practice I don’t lie, I do not invent or imagine a practice that it is not mine. When someone say that my Chakrasana is on a side instead of straight backward I explained without any shame that I am scared hurting my neck.
When I do not wish to be adjusted I just tell the teacher before the practice. When the Teacher asks why I did not come for the led class, I take my courage to tell him that I do not like any led class with anyone. When he says that I should come at least one time per month I listen to him. This is called being Truthful – Satya.
One day a Liform trademark Yoga Mat was forgotten on a bench, for several weeks. At one point I admit I have been tempted of taking it…. but I did not.
Then it finally disappeared. I do not copy paste articles that are not mine, I do not steel any idea of anyone, I do not copy/past flow for someone else class claiming that it is “MY” flow. I do not take advantage from someone else to all my purpose.
That is call being Honest – Asteya.
The fact of having a regular practice led in some way to what we could call a monastic life in comparison of the life we can get in big western cities.
You wake up early, you go to bed early, you do not consume alcohol because the next morning you have a practice, sometime for months you do not have a sip of alcohol. I do not impose myself that kind of life, it came by itself.
Some people might qualified at extremely boring and that is fine with me. In Sanskrit they call it as “Brahmacharya”.
To the popular thought Brahmacharya is not only about the abstinence of sex, but it is more about how to save your pranic energy of going away, to keep your energy for a better, higher purpose.
From the moment I have sold my apartment I detached myself from the materialist world. I did not have any mortgage to pain, no personal loan, I gave all my furnitures to the owner.
I am still giving a lot of clothes from time to time, trying to limit as much as possible my belonging because traveling lighy is easier.
I do not have car, house, I am renting wherever I go. Only my suitcase is my world and I feel fortunate enough.
Still I have a lot of things at my parents home so I am not completely “naked”!.
In Sanskrit they call it as Aparigraha, the detachment.
Every morning before my practice I shower, scrub with turmeric and/or salt/sugar, massage. I then do the kriya such as Kapalabati and Nauli.
I write down all my negatives thoughts in my notebook. I can become slightly obsessed with cleanliness (that is more an OCD) but I am working on it.
That is called Cleanliness – Saucha.
“I am happy with little things when this little is consistent with what I want”
Unfortunately I did not say that, it is from Confucius. And he was right.
While practicing there are days with flexibility and pain free and others with no flexibility and pain.
Sometimes I wish to be in Sienna eating a pizza with a glass of red wine but still I am very happy with my fresh fruits bowl and green tea by the rice field of Ubud (but with mosquitos). This is what is called as Santosha or simply Contentment.
Tapas are very famous in Spain but here the meaning is different.
It takes a lot of discipline to wake up every morning of the year in order to unfold the yoga mat and practice for 2 hours. To attend the perfection or for the body being able to understand ONE asana it has to be done and repeated at least 1,000 times.
That means it has to be done for one year and half.
Therefore the regular practice is highly essential, it is a full commitment, wether you want to do it or not rely only on you.
Still in the Ashtanga Yoga as a woman there are the Lady Holidays for which it is perfectly fine to take 2 days off and beside full moon and black moon where there is no practice. Beside the 7th day of our practice is a well a day off.
So basically it is not that hard to commit to the practice knowing that technically there are 9 days off per month.
Same as professional dance, Karate, Kung Fu, Yoga is a discipline. Therefore you have to commit to it.
The regular practice led us to think with another perspective. Our fears, emotions are printed inside our body. They do have a direct impact on our bone skeleton and on a muscular level. The practice does change our body as well.
Our emotions good or bad are circulating freely from an apanic to pranic point of view. Sometimes we cry, shout, or feel an intense joy while doing one particular asana. This is our self awareness that is happening. Slowly but surely we are discovering ourself, then by it we start to study ourselves, to study scriptures. We understand that the world is in Us, that we are the world, that we are the creator of our own obstacles as well the creator of our own happiness. Everything is relying on us, on our shoulders.
Then when we start understanding ourselves we can start spreading our knowledge.
Richard Freeman is his book asked the question “Who am I” and his reply was “Everything”.
We are everything but still we do not know it.
The Universe and Mother Nature are our parents, whatever is happening only the Universe has the answer to it.
Our job is to lets go with the Flow.
One day someone told me that the practice of the Ashtanga Yoga Vinyasa was like having a circus in town.
That is true that between the jump back and jump front we are doing some crazy nasty stuff.
But to gain that level of floating above our mat it takes, non violence, truthfulness, non stealing, mastering our energy, being detached, clean, happy of what we are doing, discipline, accept to know that we don’t know, and finally a fully trusted toward the highest energy of the World which is the Universe.
We do not have anything to prove to anyone, just being oneself is enough.