Let me explain.I have a work friend who is what you might call a casual Ashtanga practitioner. When I started Ashtanga 13 or so years ago, I knew a lot of casual Ashtanga practitioners.
I was hooked, but I wasn’t what you might call confident in my future. This is the nature of the casual Ashtanga student: I went to the so-called “half” Primary class (led, of course) two, sometimes three times a week, and I’d wave “hi” to all my fellow causal Ashtanga practitioners who would sometimes be in the class, sometimes not. I thought it was hard enough to make me feel like I was doing something, but I was chill. I dithered around because it seemed totally clear to me there was no way I was ever going to improve or get better or “advance.”
I was operating under the common misconception that if I couldn’t do it, I shouldn’t try it. And/or it was too hard. And/or it was too scary. And/or that I couldn’t get up early because I wasn’t a morning person. All of these things turned out to be wrong. (Well, except for the morning person thing—but I’ll do it anyway if I have to.) I was missing the fascination with what’s difficult, and it took me a while to really commit.
So it really caught my attention to hear David Garrigues say, “A thousand times doing first, a thousand times doing second, and then you can start third,” I was pretty excited. That’s like a real goal. That would’ve been handy ten years ago. We don’t see that sort of thing in Ashtanga very often.
Also, I thought about it a minute, and yeah, that’s probably about right—that’s about the correct number of practices before I started second series. Were the Ashtanga Fairies keeping track?
In case you’re starting to tick off numbers on your fingers and toes, David clarifies: Your 1000 doesn’t count learning and getting used to it. When it’s all together, you’re strong in the practice, then you can start counting up your 1000. That’s about six years of steady, regular practice.
I fear for my work friend, who continues to dither. If I would’ve gotten serious a couple years or so earlier, I. . .well, I’d probably be in about the same place I’m in right now. But that’s beside the point. I keep trying to get her to go to a shala, and she keeps turning me down. Time’s a wastin’
Then again, I’ve got my own countdown. So to speak.
There was that long period of time (years!) when I felt like I was just throwing myself around the mat for an hour and a half, and left a messy puddle behind me. I probably hit the 1000 mark at some point (who knew I’d live this long?), learned second, and once again I feel like I’m throwing myself around the mat and leaving a messy puddle. Again, 1000 days. I’m not even sure if I’m at the point where I can start keeping track, putting those notches in my Manduka.
Then again, who’s counting?
Posted by Bobbie