Must read: ‘Pussycat’ Tim Miller on his Intro to Ashtanga class

We’ve posted something like 1,700 times here, and I can tell you this: Just three times have we said, “This is a must read.”

Here is No. 4.

Tim Miller’s latest blog post is about his Monday night Introduction to Ashtanga class. Bobbie wrote what is one of more most popular posts about observing this class when she took Tim’s Second Series teacher training last summer. Here’s a link to Bobbie’s post at a wee bit of a refresher:

He began with something of an apology, anticipating the sometimes scary reputation Ashtanga has, without really apologizing. “There’s a certain rigorous quality to it,” he told them, “that if you soften it too much, it wouldn’t be Ashtanga.”

Tim then went into a mini-talk on the Yoga Sutras, emphasizing tapas as a purification practice, hitting on the nature of happiness, and the nature of God. It was clear this was the real deal: “All things are possible through yoga practice.”

Very carefully, very efficiently, Tim taught them correct breath (you know the one: “Make a ‘ha’ sound…”), and also imprinted linking breath with movement, using a simple cat/cow.

And now, here’s Timji and the link that you should click on so you can read it all. As you read it, you’ll see that what Bobbie said goes on goes on:

For the past 25 years I have been teaching an Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga class every Monday at 5:30pm.  This class began when we opened the North County Yoga Center in 1988 as my attempt to initiate beginners into a practice that is very challenging on many levels simultaneously.  Over the years I have attempted to present the practice in a user- friendly format, but if the practice is watered down too much it loses its primal potency.  When I took my first ashtanga yoga class in 1978 I knew that I had found the way home—the way back to my own Soul.  There was something so deeply resonant and familiar about the practice—it was like rediscovering a long lost friend.  That first yoga class changed the course of my life and the same practice continues to keep me sane to this very day.

Tim goes on from there to remind us all of the lineage of Ashtanga’s teachers before hitting his news; With the size of the class waxing and waning (as few as two students, and I want you to think about being in a yoga class of any level with one other student and Tim Miller), the Ashtanga Yoga Center is going to open up this class to the community on a donation basis.

Tim seems to realize that may not address the problem. He ends with this:

When I first started practicing, a yoga class cost two dollars.  Over the years classes have gotten pricey, which has excluded part of the population.  Money no longer needs to be an issue.  Perhaps the practice itself is the issue—yes, it’s challenging, but also very rewarding.  Maybe it’s me—heaven forbid.  I know there are people all over San Diego County that shake in their boots at the mention of my name, and think it takes great courage just to set foot in the Ashtanga Yoga Center.  Let me set the record straight on that—I’m a pussycat.

We can affirm that. (Just don’t ask us if the cat has been de-clawed.)

I need to work out some work schedule to make it possible to be down there on a Monday night, especially right now since I’m sort of re-introducing myself to Ashtanga anyway. And to anyone else passing through San Diego: I know we all want to get up early and go to a Tim Mysore class. But think about Monday night.

Closing word: Read Tim’s post.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

3 thoughts on “Must read: ‘Pussycat’ Tim Miller on his Intro to Ashtanga class”

  1. What a guy. Tim Miller. Love also how passionate you guys are about his teachings and him as a person. The world needs more gentle, humble leaders like this man. I wish I was closer to go to Tim Pussy Cat’s Monday night classes and nothing to do with the $2 price tag!

    Hamilton. NZ

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