Monday, 17 July 2017
The "laws" of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
The practice of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a very personal journey. It is a commitment, a silent contract signed between You and You only. No one will be knocking at your door every morning and wake you up for the practice. Only you are responsible for this action of "Tapas".
There will be a lot of frustration about yourself: Why I can not do the asana and how long will I be stuck here? When will I be "upgraded" and given a new asana?
And also a lot of frustration toward your Teacher: Why he is not helping/adjusting me? Is he only noticing me? Why does he let this student doing more asana when he can not catch? Does he really know my practice?
At one point your body will talk to you. Whether it will be hurting you or might surprising you. Some asanas that were out of reach are now coming easily as others asanas that were easier will become harder to reach. The body intelligence will open new path into your movements by creating more space and developing new muscles.
Your mind will play with you, it will scare you for some asana such as the drop back telling you it is not safe while some others days will let you do whatever your want.
And in the middle of this revolution happening in and outside of your inner Self you will have to remain stable and focus.
There is a dogma about Sharat. Sharat says "this" or "that" and everyone has to follow it blindly. Older well established Ashtangis are not following Sharat but still continue to pay tribute to Pattabhi Jois. Others prefer to follow Manju Jois.
Therefore some teachers will stop you during your practice and some others won't, allowing you to practice with variation. If you practice with Sarawasti she will let you do variation.
Some westerner teachers try to teach such as Sharat. They wear the towel around their waist, speak like Sharat, try to count like Sharat but got lost in the sanskrit counting, teach the led class very fast and even use his tone in order to replicate him the best way they can.
What I have learned lately it that there is not really any "laws" or rules in the Ashtanga as it might be different from one teacher to another one.
There is a story about the fact that "you won't receive any new asana on a Tuesday".... why? no one knows but some like to say it is about the alignment of the planet.
Why there is no practice on Full Moon or New Moon? Some say that it is because your body might be injured during this particular time, some others says that as Pattabhi Jois was also into astrology he took the decision to not teach during this time, no one has a proven or written scientific proof or even in the tradition about why there is no practice during these time.
Why it has to be practice 6 days in a row one day off? The best answer is you always need a day off to rest your body. But there is nothing wrong to practice 5 days in a row 2 days off. Or 2 days in a row, one day off and 2 days in a row.
Why you can not practice asana with a variation? No one know, some of them are saying is because your body can not fully open if you are using a variation but what about a permanent injury that does not allow the student to go into the asana?
Why you can not practice backbend before the Intermediate Series (outside of the closing series)? It is said that the Primary Series is the preparation of the Intermediate Series. So does that mean that others practitioner of other style of Yoga are doing it wrong?
The most important thing is to practice it in order to understand it and your body. Your body is getting "purified" by a regular practice because it is constantly opening your joints and bringing fresh energy to your body as it is removing all the bad thoughts that can stay printed into your muscles.
The best thing that I am now looking forward to it is to practice it on my own, not in a class completely packed where it is impossible to spread your legs or your arms and to move forward only with myself, not waiting for the approval of any teachers.
What I also learned is that I won't be following blindly any "guru" and won't listen to the so called rules of Ashtanga. I will follow what my heart and body will tell me because I am my own guru.
- Namaste -