One thing about yoga practice — and specifically Ashtanga, and in both senses with a heavy emphasis on asana — that struck me early was the idea of its being a lifelong practice.
I don’t remember hearing that in a gym. (Except maybe for one absolutely terrific trainer I worked with for a while.) You sometimes hear it about running. In the surfing world, there’s a sense of awe about the people still gliding on waves in their 70s. But you hear a lot of people wishing that will be them. (Including me.)
In Ashtanga, it seems, it is a given. Maybe it’s because you have to keep going if “all” is to come.
In the West, we have the first generation of men and women who are taking the Ashtanga practice into their 70s. (Well, maybe not quite yet but they are getting close.) They’re exploring what Tim Miller jokes about as “Ashtanga for seniors.”
This comes, at least in part, from the idea of yoga as a lifelong practice. I think you often will hear, sometimes very explicitly, people talk about the moment when they knew they’d be doing yoga for as long as they lived (this time through).
Was there such a moment for you? Time with a particular teacher? One practice that was the tipping point? Or was it slow buildup, a subtle and quiet realization?
Maybe there hasn’t been one yet. I’m not sure, seven or so years in, that I’ve had that moment. I think I keep expecting the moment to come when I’m done — which in a weird way might amount to the same thing.
Posted by Steve