The body vs. beginning Ashtanga all over again

I may have misjudged when I guessed that it would be my ego that would hinder my going back to the basics with Ashtanga and not cheating on poses.

Because, Day 2 — a small sample, I’ll admit — had no ego issues. I was far too distracted by my body to be thinking about my self.

I promise I won’t dwell on disliking the practice or whether it has to be painful, but let’s just say that doing poses “correctly” is uncomfortable. Making sure legs are straight, making sure hips are squared — basically doing the poses the way they are supposed to be done with their intent firmly in mind and got getting lost in some arguably less important details (such as whether you’re grabbing your toe or ankle, or shin) — stretch things. Correction: Stretch everything. Hips. Hamstrings. Quads. Shoulders.

I’ve been cheating, I realize, not just to stroke my own ego, but to avoid having the practice be even more uncomfortable than it already was.

And as Tim Miller says: “Avoidance is not the answer.”

Or as I’ve said; “Yoga is supposed to hurt you.”

I’m discovering that, all over again. And I’m far from sure how I’m going to respond. I’m ridiculously grateful for today’s full moon.

Note: I’d originally (i.e. yesterday) figured I’d give this fundamental practice a go for a month. If I can hang with it, I’m going to go a few days longer — right up until the Fall Equinox, when I’ll do the 108 Sun Saltute Yoga Mala. And then I’ll see what’s next.

Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

9 thoughts on “The body vs. beginning Ashtanga all over again”

  1. Just led a 108 in the park this past Sunday….I favorably remember Tim words: “it’s not about the pose” when I early on complained about struggling with Marichasana D….
    Way to get back into practice…though isn’t full moon on wed? Suddenly I feel cheated…lol…
    Thanks for this blog…it’s fun and informative, and insightful 🙂

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