More Ashtanga myth-busting, this time with Annie Pace

Earlier this week, it was Guy Donahaye busting the 99% practice myth.

Now, it is another of the senior Western students of Guruji doing some awareness realignment.

Let’s play a game of free association. I say “Ashtanga yoga.” You say what? “I live for power yoga.” Or “Love the workout.” Or, “Can’t do Ashtanga. That’s for the young and for super jocks.”

And what would Ashtanga yoga teacher Annie Pace say? She would bust the myths entirely, stating: “Ashtanga is not just for hard bodies.” And for that matter, “yoga is not just for the mat.”

That comes from a piece at Telluride Inside previewing the Telluride Yoga Festival. (It also reiterates Eddie Stern’s point from the Confluence about Ashtanga not being just for adolescent boys.)

Annie Pace, via her website

We were fortunate enough to participate in a weekend workshop with Annie in the fall of 2010. If you’ve heard she’s tough, traditional, dedicated and maybe a bit hard and intimidating, you’ve heard right — and wrong. She’s all those things but she has a warmth that softens things.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some clear do’s and don’ts, though.

Here’s a little more from the piece, detailing the classes Annie will be teaching at the event:

At Yoga Fest, Annie turns her words into action in her four classes. Three are traditional.

Thursday, July 11, all day, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Annie’s intensive, “Gunas and Yugas and Angas – Oh My, Yogic Principles Demystified and Applied,” explores the fundamental principles of Yoga and Ayurveda and how they apply in our life practice. During the day, Annie will “connect the dots” between Gunas ans Doshas, mind and body, breath and bandhas, subtle and gross, theory and practice. Discussion, guided breath and vinyasa pratice, chanting and stories will be tailored to the group’s interest and capacity.

Friday morning class, 8 am. – 10 a.m., Annie explores the fundamental principles of Ashtanga Yoga and their application to specific postures in the Primary Series. On Sunday, the focus is again on the Primary Series, as Annie guides her students in a traditional “count-through” of Yoga Chikitsa, designed to detoxify and align the body. But it’s her class on Saturday that is an eye opener. The Saturday class ( 8 – 10 a.m.) is entitled “Embracing the Obstacles: Therapeutic Techniques for Special Conditions.” The following is the class description:

“Ever wonder how to establish a practice when physically challenged? Or how to continue an established practice in the face of trauma? When recovering from accident or injury? Or when we’re simply not 20 anymore? Learn to work intelligently, gently, and safely in special situations WITHOUT sacrificing the essence of the practice. Principles will be introduced, explored, and applied to specific needs.”

That does sound interesting, doesn’t it? We’ll check around and see if any of our Telluride-based friends get to it and can report back.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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