Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sensational Discovery - Why Men Do Yoga?


The differences in why women and men do yoga are unpleasantly and sharply clear. I have observed hundreds of men and women and on the surface, it seems the men tend to do yoga for physical reasons while women tend to do yoga for emotional reasons, but that is not a rule. Only after deep and intense research I have found out the main reason why men do yoga.

In a nutshell, I naively thought that every man has different reasons to do yoga - maybe they want strength, nice shaped body, which yoga offers, maybe they were drunk last night and yoga makes them sober the next day or maybe they just couldn't help stretching up besides that hot blonde. I had no clue that main reason why men do yoga is that they have been feeling unfulfilled in their relationship.

The survey, conducted by Yoga Journal's Online Doctor, polled over 2,000 American and European men and found that the reasons why men do yoga are actually really shocking...

When asked the reasons why they go to the studio and sweat profusely, people who identified as men had the same #1 answer:
  
Their partner had stopped giving them the attention they needed.

Some of the other top reasons why they do yoga were that they weren't having enough sex, In rare situations, some men have answered that nice looking yoga teacher was hitting on them and the yoga studio was a blessing.

So while this isn't a perfect methodology, it does help us confront some tough things about yoga, relationships, and expectations of men.

The Psychology Today has confirmed this undeniable truth that relationship dynamics plays main reason for a man’s decision to engage in yoga practice. Generally, though, man's choice to practice yoga is driven by one or more of the following factors:

1. Immaturity

If he does not have a lot of experience in yoga, or if he doesn’t fully understand that his actions will inevitably have consequences like hurting his knees, he may think it is fine to have yoga adventure. He might think of his commitment to yoga as a jacket that he can put on or take off as he pleases, depending on the circumstances.

2. Co-occurring Relationship Issues

He may have an ongoing problem with lack of sex, alcohol and/or drugs that affect his decision-making, resulting in regrettable trips to the yoga studio. Or maybe he has a problem with sexual addiction, meaning he compulsively engages in sexual fantasies with female yoga students.

3. Insecurity

He may feel as if he is too old or too young, not handsome enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, etc. An astonishing amount of male doing yoga is linked, at least in part, to a mid-life crisis. To bolster his flagging ego, he seeks validation from women other than his partner, using yoga practice to feel wanted, desired, and worthy.

4. Lack of Male Support

He may have undervalued his need for watching and playing sports and going to strip-bars with other men, expecting his social and emotional needs to be met entirely by his significant other. And when she inevitably fails in that duty, he seeks fulfillment in the yoga studio.

5. Childhood Abuse

He may be reenacting or latent responding to unresolved childhood trauma – neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc. In such cases, his childhood wounds have created attachment/intimacy issues that leave him unable or unwilling to fully commit to his partner. He might also be using the excitement and distraction of yoga poses coupled with intense breathing as a way to self-soothe the pain of these old, unhealed wounds.

6. Megalomaniac Issues

He may feel like he is different and deserves something special that other men might not. The usual rules just don’t apply to him, so he is free to reward himself with a good yoga stretch. He may never have even thought about yoga until an opportunity suddenly presented itself. Then, without even thinking about what yoga might do to his relationship, he went for it.

7. Anger/Revenge

He may do yoga to get revenge. He is angry with his partner. In such cases, the downwarddog is meant to be seen and known as a tool to hurt her. The man does not bother to lie or keep secrets about his practice, he will talk about it, and talk, and talk... because he wants his partner to know about it.

In conclusion, the word of advice to all women out there who have been in the sexless relationship for months... If he suddenly is starting the yoga practice, this article may help you get some perspective on why he does what he does, and help you address your bedroom issues. Review your lack of emotional or physical attraction and decide should you want to stay together and work it out or simply should you let him go to do yoga and end up in divorce.


Friday, September 20, 2019

Why People Don't Like Ashtanga Yoga?


Yoga is very popular and it is the top choice on the fitness market today. However, we witness decrease of popularity of Ashtanga yoga. You may see cancellations of Ashtanga classes in yoga studios more often than some other type of yoga be it classic Hatha poses, Hot Yoga's sweaty sessions in a heated studios or any hybrid of Vinyasa yoga. Ashtanga yoga retreats are among the most unpopular and are often cancelled or changed to some other yoga styles.


Lack of Good Ashtanga Yoga Teachers?

The orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists and chiropractors in North America are increasingly dealing with the ashtanga yoga practitioners which practice has gone awry.

The increase of injuries in ashtanga yoga practice are blamed on the lack of good teachers. Almost everyone with 200 hours teachers training program can and certainly teach ashtanga yoga with poor understanding of the practice itself. Such teachers are badly trained, inexperienced and overzealous and that cause a lot of problems for the students.

A yoga student from England observed it well: "I was at an Ashtanga yoga class and in a posture where you really twist your spine. My teacher came to adjust me in the pose and really pushed me into it. It felt really uncomfortable at the time and it got worse afterwards. It was so painful that I went to the doctor and he told me that I'd bruised a rib."

Very often the students are uncertain about questioning yoga teacher. When you're in the middle of a class it's really difficult to say that something hurts. Ashtanga yoga teachers are known to be quite forceful characters and they assume they know what they are doing.

Let me digress a bit, not all ashtanga yoga teachers are forceful, inexperienced and overzealous. But in general, there is no legislation that dictates standards for teaching ashtanga yoga. It is loyalty of visiting Mysore, being in good terms with Sharath and the practice itself that, seems to me, determine certified ashtanga yoga teacher. They are extremely rare and students are left with 200 hours teacher trainees devoid from the understanding of student psychology, anatomy and most of all the humility as a human being that make up the right credentials for anyone wanted to be a yoga teacher.

Is Ashtanga Really Bad Practice?

Arddha Baddha Padmottanasana, Janu sirsansana C, Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottonasana just to name some of the knee-dangerous asanas that have been injuring students due to stubborn attempts to get into the pose with a no-pain-no-gain attitude.

I’ve heard from and worked with a number of physical therapy (physiotherapy) patients who suffered MCL, LCL or other knee injuries that began in their Ashtanga practice. Usually, this was from a Mysore-style practice, sometimes from teacher adjustments. I’ve also fielded many email inquiries from students about Ashtanga and knee pain. - Dr. Ariele Foster, Yoga Anatomy Academy

Ashtanga Yoga practice is very hard, physically demanding and so dangerous for anyone who cannot do lotus properly. It is so often connected with things like knee-pain and inflammation. The knee is most vulnerable when it is bent with an external rotation of the hip when the front of the thigh moves to the outside of the hip.

Generally speaking, one of the most vulnerable components of Ashtanga yoga is repeated pressure on the lateral knee ligaments since the practice sequence repeats almost daily. For the students who are not so flexible, the practice can cause the repetitive stress syndrome.

Regarding Astanga being a balanced practice, the first series (primary) has a lot of forwarding folding in it. The vinyasas become the counterpose and are peppered through the practice. But this works solely in the Sagittal plane. Some dedicated and skilled Astanga teachers are increasingly questioning the balance of the series in light of growing scientific knowledge, and encouraging variations, making up their own sequences sometimes. – Ruth H., yoga therapy practitioner, trained in Ashtanga Yoga

What About Ashtanga Yoga Students? 

Can they help themselves by taking responsibility for their own practice?

Over the years, I have learned that Ashtanga Yoga is not defined as the mastery of asanas although for many, many practitioners the goal of Ashtanga is binding the hands in Marichyasana D in order to progress through primary series or standing up from a backbend in order to move to intermediate series.

Frankly speaking, goals like this are very harmful. I just like many other practitioners will never be able to bind in Marichyasana D. People will compromise their knees in order to get into the posture. So Marichyasana D becomes the source of a medial meniscus tear.

As Pattabhi Jois used to say, “Health will result from good yoga, ill-health will result from bad yoga.” Clearly, the goal-oriented Ashtanga practice is bad yoga.

Ashtanga yoga is not like getting on a treadmill and start running with constant acceleration. It requires mindfulness and understanding of it's flexibility and strength. Recognize pain that isn't good and continue or stop if you need to. Ashtanga is not a competitive practice and there is no reason to force yourself into a painful pose.

No doubt about it, there is a high level of risk for injury in ashtanga yoga and the practitioners so often forget that yoga is a lifetime practice. More than that, it's a spiritual practice. The physical benefits come with it, but if you're only interested in getting fit, then go to the gym.

It’s Lonely Being An Ashtangi.

There is this “lonely” feeling of ashtanga yoga. The practice definitely calls for lifestyle changes, an inwardness look and life-introspection. The ashtanga eight limbs are so close to self-inquiry.

The loneliest part of ashtanga is being the one of few who early in the morning roll out the mat each day. In such practice there is no teacher telling you what to do and what are you left to focus on. The breath is all that you have and of course your thoughts...

You feel sad and lonely and perhaps romantic at the same time.  That is the first tip of fearlessness, and the first sign of real warrior ship. ~ Chogyam Trungpa

Ashtanga is not about strength so much as it is about keeping attention on breath and strong core... mula bandha. Only daily practice and endless repetition builds the strength very slowly. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts.

...Perhaps it is just the type of people whom Ashtanga attracts. Slightly lonerish Type As? Of course there is the ultimate “lonely” part of Ashtanga: the home practice. I assume other yogis practice at home, but I don’t feel like there is quite the same  emphasis on such a practice... Even Mysore practice is “lonely.” Sure, you are in a room with a bunch of people, but you are all doing your own thing... - Steve, The Confluence Countdown

Ashtanga Yoga Is a Spiritual Practice!

Can you practice yoga without spiritual goal on your mind? I don't know.


Ronald said that some people do yoga and are "solely interested in asana...". I believe this might be true but on another hand what is the life about? Is the main goal in life to gain self-actualization or so popularly called, enlightenment?

What you actually do when you step on the yoga mat, knowing that or not, is that you search for Your Natural State. It is a state of great sensitivity of being awake, not some kind of emotional compassion or tenderness for others. I digress, yes, there is compassion only in the sense that there are no 'others' for you, and so there is no separation.

Whenever you step on the mat, you are actually interested in Moksha, Liberation, Freedom, Transformation, you name it, and you are interested in happiness without one moment of unhappiness, pleasure without pain, it is the same thing.

The Ashtanga yoga practice creates the experience, and the experience strengthens practice. The practitioner is nothing but the practice. That is really what's going on.

Practicing Ashtanga yoga, which is boring, dull and hard, does not allow you creativity and wishful thinking. It calls for a complete and total surrender. It is the practice of hopelessness which says that there is no way out... Asana, breath, drishti and vynasas are taking you away from yourself...


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What Does It Mean To Be An Ashtangi?


I am an ashtangi. I don't really like any personal labels but this is what I am. I do ashtanga yoga everyday and my life revolves around it.

What does it mean to be an ashtangi?

Ashtanga Yoga holds the key to rediscovering yourself. In time, this practice helps you in your everyday life. You quickly understand that you don't have a control of your life. The ways you react to challenges and handle situations begins to change, as you start to see that you cannot get hold on anything.

To be an ashtangi means to be an outsider, a kind of a rebellion. Ashtanga Yoga takes you out of the mainstream. By being an ashtangi you start having an alternative and mindful way of living. It is not just about lululemon pants, not even chanting or meditating for peace, or quitting your job to be a yoga teacher or saving bees or wales or the Earth itself.

Ashtangis are those who stay in the world, doing the same thing as before, working hard, having drinks, raising children... about those who do yoga everyday and the deeper they dive into the practice, the more questions they dissolve. They simply see that nothing has an intrinsic meaning. Not even the practice itself. But they doing it anyway what a hell.

To be an ashtangi means to go against the status quo of what you think we should look like, or should do with your life. You rebel against the accepted norms and against what your family may have expected you to do with yourself and your career. Your daily practice gives you the ability to stay true to your own path.

Daily practice develops a detached awareness so you as an observer of the mind is strengthen over time. You begin to understand and accept that your thoughts really create your reality. But that realization does not mean anything either, you notice that it is easy to fall back into the habit of projection into the future with anxiety which can lead you to depression.

By continuing going to the mat and breathing five breaths in each pose, brings your attention to the present moment. You start to notice the present, and while breathing in a difficult pose there is freedom to be yourself.

The present moment is not different than your own self. 

You cut the limiting beliefs about yourself that hold you back from your dreams, because you come to realize that you are nothing of what you thinking to be.

That is the connection to the self that you have forgotten it. But yoga is a direct line back to that union. "Yoga" means union and now you understand with what. Your self is your best friend who many of you may have forgotten.

You can have no friends and be lonely, and turn to neediness on your wife, kids or lover. But in coming home to your self through yoga, you realize each and every time that you are indeed free and enough as is. You become so confident in your solitude.

This epiphany that makes you aware of the fact that your self is all you've really got in this world and that realization will give you knowledge how to handle your outside relationships and be a good partner.

To be an ashtangi is to have a shiny eyes that are smiling on mundane life. That freedom is a gift of ashtanga yoga to you. Your good fortune may have happened by luck or chance but the shiny eyes make the abundance of opportunities.

You are not obsessed over what you do not have, what you have not accomplished, and how you will not be happy nor complete nor fulfilled until you meet your soulmate. You stop comparing yourself to the status, success, fame or celebrity of others, instead you enjoy peaceful knowledge of your own self. And you practice ashtanga yoga.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Want A Better Yoga Practice? ... Get Tattooed


Do you practice yoga? Do you feel discouraged, frustrated, and stiff? Admit it. You are trying so hard to find ways to get your body to do what everyone else in the class is doing. But by forcing yourself into a pose, you're really opening yourself up to injury, not to mention losing your focus on breathing and missing out a lot of the benefits of yoga.

Fortunately, I have done the research and I am here to disclose the deepest yoga secret so you can stop beating yourself up and start reaping what the yoga has to offer.

The practice of yoga is not just a workout, it is a full-fledged way of life. You have truly devoted and committed yourself to live by what you stand for and it really sucks that you struggle with your practice. If you want to stop the struggle, get yoga-inspired tattoos! Your practice is in direct correlation of how many, and how large, yoga tattoos you have on the canvas of your body.

The Canadian Yoga Safety Commission (CYSC) continuously conducts research studies on a variety of areas including the influence of yoga-inspired tattoos on yoga practitioners. The information gathered in these studies serves as the guide for 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training Certifications all around the world.

Part of the CYSC's mandate is to provide objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the yoga studio owners on yoga-related topics. A recent study, led by Dr. Jeff Holbrook and published in the May 2017 edition of the scientific journal Chronic Yoga Struggle and Injuries, has confirmed that the lack of yoga tattoos is associated with an increased risk of short and inadequate shavasana.

This study is important because it isolates yoga tattoos as the one of the main factor for an improved yoga experience. More often, the lack of tattoos are combined with yoga issues such as lack of motivation to do the practice, the chronically hunched over downwarddog, feeling tight, achy and sore around the neck, shoulders, and upper and lower back, as well as farting in the yoga class.



I experience anxiety and depression. In my life, I have fallen into despair and loneliness. So I started yoga because the physical practice helps me shift my physiological and psychological states, even if it's just for an hour. 

I got my first mandala tattoo last September, so now, I constantly remember that I am more than just my thoughts and emotions. I have a glimpse that there is something stable, pure, and beautiful within me. My version of mandala tattoo is the lotus flower. It stands for being whole, one in unity with the universe, and completeness. 

My invitation is... please get yoga-inspired tattoo to the mat. And bring your body too. 

Has the mandala tattoo helped me personally with yoga? Yes. It's one of the reasons that I am a yoga teacher now. The tattoo has given me an alternate form of income, when I'd rather just drink wine, eat cake, and watch Netflix. 

- Cindy, 33 years old, Yoga Teacher, Pasadena CA



I practice yoga for the last 30 days and I have OM (AUM) tattoo on my left shoulder. Have you ever seen how great yogis sit in the snow and how the snow around them melts away? I want to do the same! I want to melt the ice with my ass. It is my life's goal.

At present, I'm practicing with the ice from the fridge. I sit on the ice this morning and I can tell you... there is a great movement in the right direction. After only 5 minutes, my underwear was completely wet.

Without the tattoo I could not do this great accomplishment. My tattoo is written in Sanskrit, and offers different meanings for every part curve of the writing. OM tattoo helps me raising my personal vibration by doing specific energy work with my Higher Self. This frequency raising energy is necessary to melt the ice.

- Daniel, 42 years old, Ice Breaker, Toronto ON



There are some rules and guidelines that must also be observed when getting yoga-inspired tattoos. Since these symbols have specific and profound meanings, the illustration itself must also be just as specific and appropriate as well.

For example, the lotus flower’s number of petals are dependent on kapotasana. Eight petals are reserved for advanced ashtanga second series practitioners. If you can do drawbacks from standing to wheel pose and back you can get a tattoo with seven petals. If you can do just wheel pose then you should be satisfied with six petals lotus tattoo.

If you also have a Ganesha tattoo done on your back, it’s believed to bring a stronger kind of back so you can easily do pincha maryachasana — which is a longstanding belief passed on from Patanjali. As for chakras, it’s highly recommended to have all seven chakras placed on the spine to symbolize dormant energy that’s waiting to be raised and awoken to bring awareness to the body.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Like It Or Not... Ashtanga Yoga Is a Spiritual Practice!

 99% practice, 1% theory

Can you practice Ashtanga Yoga without spiritual goal on your mind? 

Can you go 6 times a week on the mat without thinking of awakening? I don't know. I believe this might not be true but on another hand what is the life about? Is the main goal in life to gain self-realization or so popularly called enlightenment or awakening?

What you actually do when you step on the yoga mat, knowing that or not, is that you search for Your Natural State. It is a state of great sensitivity of being awake, not some kind of emotional compassion or tenderness for others. I digress, yes, there is compassion only in the sense that there are no 'others' for you, and so there is no separation.

Whenever you step on the mat, you are actually interested in enlightenment, and the Ashtanga yoga practice creates the experience, and the experience strengthens practice. The practitioner is nothing but the practice. That is really what's going on.

Bear in mind that there is no such thing as truth. The only thing that is actually here is your logical premise, which you call truth. In Ashtanga practice, you may discover that there is only one solid thought. When you count five breaths in a pose you may clearly see or feel the "I" thought. Everything exists is in relation to that one thought. That thought is 'you' and it doesn't really exist. You will understand that anything you experience based on that thought is the illusion.

99% practice and 1% theory is the key to awakening.

Practicing Ashtanga yoga, which is boring, dull and hard, does not allow you creativity and wishful thinking. It calls for a complete and total surrender. It is the practice of hopelessness which says that there is no way out... Asana, breath, drishti and vynasas are taking you away from yourself...

Food, clothing, and shelter- these are the basic needs. Beyond that, if you want anything, it is the beginning of self-deception. You see that so clearly in daily Ashtanga practice. Ashtanga yoga is selfish practice. So be selfish and stay selfish is my message. Wanting enlightenment is selfishness.

Obviously, you are not in conflict with the society. Ashtanga yoga force you to accept it as it is and you're not interested in changing it. The demand to bring about a change in illusion isn't there anymore. So, the demand to change the world at large is not there. You suffer with the suffering man and you are happy with the happy man... practicing Ashtanga yoga.

Ashtanga yoga saved you from the very idea that you have to be saved. When you know nothing, you say a lot. When you know something, there is nothing to say. I am always emphasizing that somehow the truth has to dawn upon you that there is only the practice and there is nothing to understand.

What I am trying to say is that by the practice of Ashtanga you will see for yourself that there is no individual there at all. There is only a certain gathering of knowledge, which are thoughts surrounding the basic "I" thought, but no individuality there.

Some of you mistakenly believe that by practicing ashtanga you will somehow miraculously make your life simple and manageable. But, if you are lucky, you will discover that you are not created for any grander purpose than the ants that are there or the flies that are hovering around you or the mosquitoes that are sucking your blood.

Ashtanga yoga takes away the fear that makes you believe that you are living and that you will be dead. What you really want in life is this fear to come to an end. That is why you have involved in all these meditation classes, becoming vegan, reading spiritual articles and talks, accepting various therapies for choice-less awareness and various other gimmicks.

Ashtanga is a very boring practice. And the boredom is a bottomless pit. As long as you think that there is something more interesting, more purposeful, more meaningful in ashtanga than what you are actually doing, you have no way of freeing yourself from boredom.

Ashtanga returns you to the basics... everything you have around you is the creation of your thoughts. You are yourself born out of thought, otherwise, you would not be here at all. Thoughts have a tremendous value, yet it is the very thing that should be destroyed.

Good luck. 😍