Fellow yogis, Yoga Practice


As a first time mom, everything is different and a little uncertain. Morning routines. How much uninterrupted sleep I’ll get at night. The way my clothes fit (or don’t). How focused I’ll be at work, running off of 4 hours of choppy sleep. And it’s no surprise that my yoga practice has changed too.

I know my husband has also had his world flipped over as he takes on more responsibilities at home. He’s one of those wonderful men who cooks dinner every night, loads the dishwasher and handles laundry so I can spend my evenings focusing on taking care of the baby. Thank goodness for good men, stepping up as good fathers and husbands!

So I was happy for my ashtanga teacher of 5 years, who is also a new father, when he announced he was making changes to his teaching schedule to spend more time with his family. He taught his last Sunday morning class with us this past weekend. What that means is that my routine of 5 years will change, and maybe that’s a good thing.

While I selfishly never want anything or anyone else around me to ever change so that I never have to face uncertainty in my life, I know it’s inevitable and necessary for growth. You see, even though the ashtanga primary series is essentially the same sequence you practice over and over again, it’s never the same. Some days, I’m touching my toes and doing backbends like a champ. Other days, I want to skip every vinyasa and go straight to savasana. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

Change can be good. I look forward to practicing under the guidance of his successor, my friend and fellow yogi who asked me to write about ashtanga pigtails a couple weeks back. I know he will challenge me in different ways and offer new suggestions to help me work with the current state of my body. He’s even threatened to mix things up – do things out of order, throw in new postures, practice some pranayama. Hark! The ashtanga police may be watching… 🙂

I’m also looking forward to practicing alongside my ashtanga teacher when he too can bring his wife and baby to class. It’ll be a great family event! I think sometimes we forget that our teachers are practitioners too, and they need changes and challenges just like the rest of us.

I see only good things to come, and I embrace this opportunity for all of us who have been regulars at that Sunday morning class to keep on keepin’ on (that’s how the phrase goes, right?) and furthering our yoga like we always have. At least that part won’t ever change.

Thank you, Matt, for bringing me into this ashtanga world 5 years ago. I hope you get to finally sleep in on Sundays (at least as much as the baby will allow), and we’ll see you in class when you and the family can make it. Babies change everything, don’t they? 

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  1. James says

    Great post! I look forward to seeing you in class.

    Interesting topic: Change. Our nature is to fight against it. I had my own struggle with change yesterday when I was heading to practice. I was debating between Ashtanga and Vinayasa. I really wanted to try something new and I had been meaning to attend Gioconda’s class. As much as I wanted to go to vinyasa, I chose Ashtanga. As I thought it through, I realized the aversion to vinyasa wasn’t the class and most certainly not the teacher. It was about not wanting to change my routine and not knowing what to expect. It was the change.

    I forced myself outside of my comfort zone and went upstair to Gioconda’s. What she gave me was one of the best practices I’d had in a long time. I felt strong, open and grounded. I got to play with pincha and hand stand. It was a great time….and all because I embraced the change.

  2. Terri says

    thanks, james! it really is interesting how much mental effort it takes to force ourselves out of our comfort zones. i’m looking forward to whatever surprises you have in store for us. maybe i’ll be brave enough to try more of the second series beyond what matt has mixed in over the years. <-- see? another example of how i've been forced to change, and it wasn't all that bad! 🙂

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