Thursday, November 20, 2008
Ashtanga yoga keeps me sane...
In early 2008 I started to dabble in yoga. I stared with basic Hatha classes a couple of times a week. I instantly enjoyed the stretching and calm atmosphere, but I found that I really wanted to be challenged---I wanted to get a big fat workout everytime I practiced yoga. Someone suggested Asthanga yoga and I decided to give it a shot.
IT KICKED MY ASS. 15 minutes into the first session I was a sweaty pool of humility laying prostrate on the floor. I was attempting to move my body into positions that seemed obscene and unnatural--and I was hooked. By May I had committed to practicing 3 times a week for 1.25-1.5 hours at a time. By fall I had increased to 4-5 sessions a week.
The thing about yoga is that for most people it is a long and gradual learning curve---it truly takes years to become an accomplished yogi. For example, if you want to run a marathon you could start training 6 months beforehand and be ready to run--not the case with yoga. I think each running month is like a yoga year.
So, I started practicing a style of Ashtanga called Mysore--this is kind of a supervised self practice where all levels practice together and everyone moves at their own pace. This has been a great way for me to learn as I practice beside folks who have been studying for many years. I also made a little yoga room in my house so that I can practice at home.
Besides feeling fit and strong I have really noticed how much yoga has impacted my psyche. Life has thrown me a couple of curve balls this fall, and I truly believe that it has been the confidence and centeredness I have developed with yoga that has allowed me to bounce back quickly and calmly. I am more present, aware and at peace.
And yes...that is my new yoga boyfriend, Peter.