Monday, October 16, 2017

Falling In Love With Ashtanga Yoga

If you're among the people that are less than thrilled about the trend of yoga, that's perfectly understandable. But, it hurts to say this, you're missing out many things. Yoga has many physical, spiritual and mental benefits.

Yoga Studios aka Wellness Centers?

I am shocked to see the new prices for yoga classes. The single drop in class is now $22, 5 class pass $100, 10 class pass $180, plus HST (in Canada, for anything you buy, you pay extra 13% of the original price). Special events, so-called yoga workshops, are even more expensive, the price depends on the yoga teacher's celebrity level.

It's really sad because a lot of people cannot afford more stress in their lives, students, those working shitty jobs just to get by, single moms, etc. can't afford these classes. I feel the price of classes makes yoga appear to be an upper-middle-class hobby more than something approachable to everyone, which is so sad.

Six years ago, I paid $25/month for unlimited practice at an Ashtanga studio in Toronto. Today, $260/month plus HST. Whom to blame for this price spike? Studio management? Or the overheated market?

There, in the yoga studio, everyone will tell you how their award-winning wellness center is a great and with the best yoga teachers around. I would like to advise you, once you have a solid, safe foundation for your practice, there’s enormous value in daily unrolling your mat at your living room, and moving through poses. If you listen to your body carefully, you’ll realize you have a lot more to teach yourself than you expected. And, of course, the home class is completely free!

Home Yoga Practice

Starting a home yoga practice will ultimately save you time, energy and money. Try to practice yoga every day. Set aside a time when you will not be disturbed and you will not have to rush.

Practice regularly, it will help you build concentration, increase flexibility and strengthen willpower, making it easier to practice the next day. Consistency is key. If possible, establish a regular time of day to set aside for practice. Morning practice is advised.

There is more benefit to doing the practice regularly than sporadic studio class attendance, or the occasional workshop. Twenty minutes of yoga at home is more beneficial than driving, parking and paying to practice for an hour at a studio. The greatest and longest lasting benefits are achieved when at least half-primary is done every day. The full primary is a goal and that is the way to go.

Ashtanga Yoga With Friends

I have a lot of friends and some of them were asking to teach them ashtanga yoga. Every Monday at 7:30 PM  we have ashtanga yoga class at friend's condo. It is a good 50 to 60 minutes practice. We do 5A, 5B sun salutations, all standing postures, and sitting postures until Navasana, then we move to closing sequence. We also do a sequence of strengthening poses like holding various planks and dolphin pose for a long time and adding a few stomach crunches.

When I tell my friends to start doing ashtanga yoga, I always say, they'll feel so good! They'll be so relaxed after the practice and they'll lose the weight etc. What I don’t tell them is that most of the times daily ashtanga yoga practice makes you feel tired. It is a hard practice. And it’s called a "practice" for a reason.

There's no end game in ashtanga yoga; no big "accomplished day,” nothing specific you’re training for, nothing to achieve. It’s a constant hard work in progress, you can almost always go deeper into a pose, extending your ligaments and muscles further to make the pose more challenging. It is the ultimate practice.

Stretching every day brings benefits to your body and mind, and you don't have to be flexible to show up on the mat. You don’t have to be anything to do Ashtanga yoga. It is an amazing workout that will help boost your mood and health.

Ashtanga Yoga Is Not Competition

The great thing about ashtanga yoga is that we continue to improve through life, and age has nothing to do with ability in yoga. Indeed, practicing Ashtanga yoga daily into our senior years is a goal to aspire to as it will keep you fit, confident, strong, flexible, mentally and physically balanced, and self-disciplined.

Ashtanga yoga is great for cleaning your immune system. By daily sweat, you'll start throwing away toxins from your body. In the first six months of the practice, you may be constantly on the verge of sickness. In my case, when I started seriously to practice Ashtanga yoga, drinking a cold bottle of water had caused me a throat inflammation. All that'll be gone in six months.

Daily practice of Ashtanga yoga will take a lot of your free time. You need 90 minutes at least for the practice: 10 minutes to prepare, 60 minutes to perform and 20 minutes after the practice. You also need to change your eating habits, ashtanga yoga is practiced on an empty stomach.

Practicing daily will change your way of thinking. I don't say these things to my friends I just encourage them to practice yoga. This is something they will discover by themselves once they fall in love with Ashtanga yoga. And that’s all that matters.

Share this article on Facebook