According to this, I should be doing Kundalini yoga

Question: Is the universe trying to test me when I’m already feeling cranky or am I finding tests out there because I’m cranky? (Chicken and egg, and all.)

I don’t know the answer. But I do know that according to Ingrid Yang, a yoga expert in Chicago who has co-authored the soon-to-be-published Hatha Yoga Asanas, I should be doing Kundalini yoga and not Ashtanga.

For example, Yang says that the style Iyengar is a great alignment-based practice for those that are seeking to gain flexibility. Ashtanga may be a practice for those students that already come to yoga with a more flexible body type. Kundalini works with energy and focuses less on the physical aspects of yoga and more on the spiritual philosophies. Restorative is another type of yoga that is gentle and is meant to relax and soothe.
“There are at least a dozen more styles of yoga I could mention, but the point is that the brilliance of yoga is that it is for everyone because each person can find a style of yoga that fits his/her body type and his/her individual needs,” Yang says.

Maybe I need to reassess that list from earlier.

Now, before anyone with a bad case of earnestness reminds me not to listen to some expert I’ve never met, I know. But it’s hard to ignore when someone seems to be describing you.

But that isn’t the worst of it. This is:

Furthermore, yoga isn’t always a sure-fire way to turn an inflexible person into a naturaly flexible one. While doing yoga regularly — two to three times a week for a few months — can result in increased flexibility, it doesn’t always, Yang says.
“In terms of flexibility, it is indeed likely they will be able to stretch further, but it is not necessarily so,” she says. “It depends on what type of yoga they have been practicing, their inherent anatomy and their past practices.  If they had already been stretching to their limits in other exercises, there may not be much further for them to go.”

That’s not very inspiring. But it may explain why the practice feels so much like Tapasya to me.

In closing, on a separate subject, I’ll direct you to Jason’s Leaping Lanka blog for what I hope is the final word on the whole “going to Mysore” issue. Warning: There’s at least one four-letter word. But that’s bound to happen if you’re referencing the Clash.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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