Me? An Ashtangi?

It's been a while since I've written much about my own practice, since much of my energies were directed outwardly during the holiday season.  Even so, I made sure to set aside at least an hour for my asana practice each day.  Things have finally settled down this week, so I've been able to get back to my extended practice and even emerged from my cave to attend a couple of classes, which is always a treat.

Monday afternoon I decided at the last minute to check out a 75-minute Ashtanga Short Form across town.  It was a lot of fun.  As much as I study the principles and read about Ashtanga, I still don't have the Primary Series memorized because I don't practice the Series on a regular basis.  It was a little disorienting to be moving from one side to the next for each pose rather than moving through a series of poses on one side before repeating the sequence on the other, but it was also a nice change of pace and I enjoyed the class immensely.  The teacher, who I discovered to be a neighbor of mine, gave me some pointers for polishing my jump-backs, which was great.  That's one of the nice things about being a home practitioner:  on those rare occasions when I do get some instruction, I almost always leave with new awareness which tends to bring about some pretty huge shifts in my practice.

I'm considering instituting Primary Fridays in my own practice in order to bring some more structure to my week and get more familiar with the sequence.  One never knows when one might want to join the Ashtanga cult (and I write this with the utmost affection and fascination), moon days, ladies' holidays, and all.  I'm not sure how I'll do it, but, in keeping with my archaic ways, it will likely be with Swenson's Practice Manual at the top of my mat.  I've got a couple of Primary DVDs, but I can't see myself practicing with those on a regular basis; I don't like to be rushed.  Still, it would be an interesting experiment and fun to write about... my once weekly Primary.  We'll see.

After the Ashtanga class, I felt great.  Really great.  In fact, I felt suspiciously super-energized, so decided to roll with it and went, more or less directly, to a Power Yoga class at the home studio before teaching my own class that evening.  This class was complicated and wonderful.  I learned a cool new arm balance (think: "one-legged crane scorpion"), got plenty of backbends to balance all the forward bending of the Ashtanga class, and left the room simply oozing yoga goodness.  It's no surprise, then, that my class afterwards went really well.

Yesterday, I realized it had been 9 days since my last rest day, which was the day I travelled home from Wisconsin, which wasn't really a rest day at all, trekking my luggage all over the airport during an extended delay, so I reluctantly abstained from asana practice.  There have been rumors, though, that I may have been spotted in some exotic-looking postures on the living-room floor.  It's best not to believe them.

(image source)


  1. Ashtanga is highly addictive. The way I learned the sequence was I studied the poses like a school exam and quizzed myself. Then when I practiced, I only added on a few poses at a time which helped me to memorize them before adding more. I like the idea of Ashtanga Friday. Good luck.


  2. Just completed my first Friday Primary! Stay tuned for the report tomorrow. This is going to be fun. :)