Yoga Practice

AYC ’13: Beauty & benefit of the ashtanga practice


As part of the large group discussions, the teachers talked in great depth about ashtanga’s many benefits. Because these are SENIOR teachers with many years of experience and now aging bodies, it was nice to hear them talk about the other important aspects of ashtanga beyond asanas.

That’s not to say that they’re not a little sad about never being able to do certain postures again. At one point, Tim said he peaked in his mid-30s since he got his start at 26. So for people who are just beginning ashtanga in their 50s , they’ll do well into their 60s, 70s and beyond.

How ashtanga can apply to everyone

  • Ashtanga is like medicine. Guruji knew what pace and method to teach us. In this manner, the way it’s engrained makes it an individual practice even though they are the same postures for everyone. We had a lot of trust in him. – Dena
  • The presentation and application of the practice is different. We get creative on how to present the yoga no matter the limitation. – David

How to use ashtanga to improve health

  • Iyengar is more a specialist versus ashtanga which is total body health. – Dominic
  • Primary is especially important for healing gastrointestinal and digestive systems. – Tim
  • When stagnation sets in, toxicity in our bodies increases. The idea of drishti forces you to have to pay attention – so much so that we start being intentional. When we control our mind, we control our health. – Eddie
  • It’s beneficial to do asanas in combination instead of focusing on only one or two that are supposed to “heal” an ailment. – Tim
  • You just hold those postures [that have specific benefits for one part of the body] longer as part of the whole sequence. – Nancy

The yoga practice as you age

  • You learn lessons of non-attachment. As you age, you get asanas taken away and not added. – Tim
  • We all suffer from “asana collection syndrome”. [As you age], do less, but do it in a deeper way. – Dena
  • Manju said, After 60, do meditation and chanting. – Nancy
  • Finding where the “yoga” is in my yoga practice means to go beyond the physical practice. – Eddie

The beauty of ashtanga

  • Yoga means concentration. When you breathe and move, everything else fell into place. – Eddie
  • Krishnamacharya taught a mountain of asanas to Guruji, Iyengar and his son Desikachar. It was Guruji who organized them and added sun salutations. This practice was very innovative. – Eddie
  • Everything can be found in the practice. He gave us a tool that we can then take responsibility to find answers for ourselves. – David
  • This is breath practice. Don’t fidget. Don’t fix your hair. Don’t fix your mat. Just jump through and do the practice. – Nancy
  • You wring your body until the point of exhaustion, and you uncover the underlying bliss. – Eddie
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


    • Terri says

      Hi Brad, please make sure to link back to my page if you would like to share some of my notes on your site.

Comments are closed.