The weekend Ashtanga Workshop just finished and my first thought was that I am not quite ready for this style of yoga yet. I am SO incredibly SORE right now (it feels like, as they say, I've been beaten up by a gang), which means 1) I practised hard and 2) the Primary Series is extremely physically demanding. I can totally see how, if you practise this series regularly, Ashtanga yoga can, and will, prepare you for hours of meditation because your body will be SO flexible and strong that you can sit down cross-legged in lotus (see below) for hours on end.
|Double Pigeon is totally hip-splitting for me|
Despite being totally exhausted (trust me, sitting on a chair is a real luxury), I'm glad I joined the workshop, which was led by American yoga instructor Clayton Horton, not least because I learnt more about yoga in general. Here is a no-nonsense kinda guy (I can imagine him being a former hippie -- in fact, he resembled this spaced-out cowboy I met years ago when I was hitch hiking across Utah, but I shall leave that story for another time) that just got on with the teaching and, in two short days (but 12 hours no less) went through the entire Primary Serious and more ... We did the sun salutation (no problem), standing asanas/poses (no problem), backbending (no problem) ...but any asana that requires getting into the lotus or even half lotus or double pigeon I just cannot do. As I learnt from the previous Anatomy Workshop with Paul Grilley, it's the way I am built. Also, any pose that requires core strength (and there are quite a few) I also cannot do. Do I feel frustrated, of course (though I really shouldn't cos this IS yoga after all and I should be feeling calm and at peace with self during practice) ... but I am happy that I am benefiting from some of these asanas. I feel my body has opened up a lot and compared to, say, the "me" three years ago, I am a completely different person(!)
There was also a philosophical aspect of the workshop and topics of life and death were discussed. I enjoyed that.
So what's next? I'd already booked my next yoga class. Yoga has become something that I don't think I can stop practising ~ for now.