Ashtanga Vinayasa Yoga, I’m finding is not well known, even among those who regularly practice Yoga. The more I learn about Ashtanga, the more fascinated I become. And the more I realize how I’ve been truly led to this practice…
You see, India has been the #1 place I’d love to visit for a very long time. I’ve always been drawn to the way spirituality permeates Indian culture. One of the important customs in the Ashtanga practice are yearly visits to Mysore, India, the birth place of Ashtanga.
In the summer of 2012, I decided to start doing three mindful sun salutations every morning. Within a few days, I was on my knees praying, crying and pouring my heart out. Those three months were monumental in terms of spiritual growth! Ashtanga begins each practice with 5 sun salutations. I felt truly at home in that first class I took. This powerful style of traditional Yoga allows you to connect your movement with your breath very powerfully!
The three weeks I’ve been practicing have been profound. I have so much I want to share and will be doing so as I grow in my practice. I will also share insights into what is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, as I am truly fascinated! In the mean time if you are interested, visit The Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute home page for more info on this traditional and spiritual practice of Yoga.
For my Ashtanga Mentorship, my teacher asked us to begin reading the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the main sources of Ashtanga. She asked that we pick 3 and explain how we are experiencing the message of the sutra on and off the Mat. I’m all about taking the lessons from my practice off the mat! #takeTHATofftheMat Here are the ones I chose…
Yoga Sutra 1.1
Now the exposition of Yoga is being made.
For the longest time, I’ve been interested in the spiritual aspects of Yoga – about 10 years. However, I was not ready nor was I disciplined enough for a consistent practice. Therefore, I was unable to tap into the true roots of Yoga. Now, that I’ve started to develop a more consistent practice, I can see the tip of this spiritual iceberg that is the true Yoga. NOW the exposition of Yoga is being made.
Yoga Sutra 1.2
yogash citta vritti nirodhah.
The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga.
The first step to restraining these modifications is to be aware of them. I’m finding myself on the verge again, at the tip of this spiritual iceberg. I’m seeing a lot of patterns in my Life and thoughts. Restraining them is another story. I find comfort in one Truth I’ve learned which is being confirmed on the Mat: “Practice and all is coming!” The famous words of the late Pattabhi Jois. On the Mat, I am cultivating patience through consistent practice. This builds strength, awareness and balance in my personal practice. Off the Mat, I’m seeing how this patience may come in handy in my Life. Like reuniting with my Twin Flame and creating that partnership only we can create. I miss that partnership, the laughter, the Love, the lessons, the tears of joy at seeing myself in him. Patience through consistent practice… This builds strength, awareness and balance off the Mat, too.
Which leads me to…
Yoga Sutra 1.12
abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhah.
These mental modifications are restrained by practice and non-attachment.
The practice I mentioned before coupled with non-attachment will allow for the experience of Yoga ~ union, yoking, oneness. It’s as if this practice is only fruitful when I practice for the honor and beauty of the practice. Off the Mat, detachment allows for my beingness to come through. Who am I going to be regardless of the outcome of my actions? Regardless of circumstances who am I going to be?
I am Love.
Love I must.
Love with detachment.
Love for the honor and beauty of Love.