Maybe you’ve seen this one, posted at some point on Wednesday: Kathryn Budig interviews Maty Ezraty for Yoga Journal:
Kathryn Budig: What is your personal practice like these days?
Maty Ezraty: I’m still practicing Ashtanga and modify as needed. I have always been a slow Ashtanga practitioner. I take my time getting through the series and enjoy spending extra time in the Sun Salutations and standing poses, although these days it can be even slower! I do less of the jumps and spend more time in poses adding preps and variations. I’ll often addrestorative poses at the end of my practice using props as needed. Occasionally, I change the practice completely and do more of an Iyengar style practice. It’s a good practice for me to do things differently, to let go of the habit, but truth be told, I mainly stick with the general outline of Ashtanga. I like it. It works for me.
KB: I was your devoted student when you taught in the Yogaworks Mysore room, but eventually moved over to vinyasa flow after you left. Ultimately, I found that the Mysore practice (I was doing second series at the time) became way too fiery and I burnt out. What’s your advice for someone wanting to do Mysore Ashtanga, especially for those with full and busy lives?
ME: I see Ashtanga as a map and not a mandate. If we view Ashtanga as equaling first and second series and think we have to do the entire series in order to consider it a good day of practice, we are bound to suffer. We will have days and times in our lives when we need to do less. I see the Mysore room as a place for students to learn how to practice yoga as well as learn how to practice what is good for them. Yoga should support our life and not be another demand that we put on ourselves. Our practice should cultivate inquiry, sensitivity, and kindness to ourselves. If we force ourselves to stick to the series no matter what is happening in our body and mind, we have missed the whole point of yoga. Some days we might be better off going for a walk in nature.
Let’s also keep in mind that not everyone should or can do all the poses in first series. As teachers, no matter what yoga style we teach, we should know how and when to modify for our students needs. What better place than the Mysore room, where everyone can go at their own pace? It is a wonderful way to learn to listen to your body and to your needs. The practice can always be modified so that Ashtanga can support you.
They go on to talk about the use of props and where Maty hopes yoga goes.
Posted by Steve