Start Ashtanga Yoga at Your Home

This morning, I practiced yoga with my girlfriend. My apartment looked like a yoga studio. It was nice practice, we did half primary with additional strengthening poses - planks and stomach crunches. We practiced for 50 minutes.

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

Once a week practice is better than no practice but I was afraid that my friends will get injured. I was showing them the poses and I practiced together with them. I did not have ability to check their poses in details and I was afraid of the injuries. So eventually I stopped giving classes.

Yoga should be practiced every day. Stretching daily brings benefits to body and mind, and what is so important, 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.

I am shocked to see the new prices for yoga classes. The single drop in class is now $25, 5 class pass $120, 10 class pass $200, 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, $320/month plus HST. Whom to blame for this price spike? Studio management? Or the overheated market?

I have stopped going to yoga studios 3 years ago but I have to say, I miss it. I like practicing yoga with others like-minded people. It is a great energy and it is easier to practice. But, 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.