Good morning! Happy Friday 🙏💜🎉
I developed an educational video that is a silent demo of the Ashtanga Primary Series with written guidance. I changed the speed of the practice to shorten the video. My intention is to support you on your yoga journey wherever that may take you. This is not a video to practice alongside, but may prepare you to take an Ashtanga class in your community. Or, it may deter you from that style of yoga. 😂😂😂 Either way, you will be informed.
I found it helpful to practice yoga for quite some time before I started the Ashtanga Primary Series, because it moves quickly from one posture to another. Being familiar with the alignment and experience of these postures before moving through the entire sequence helps prevent injury and experience yoga during this practice. This is only the first half of the series. Stay tuned for the second half of the primary series coming in the upcoming weeks.
Although this video focuses on the Ashtanga Primary Series, this is only one style of yoga I practice and incorporate into my teaching. The word yoga encompasses so many styles of movement, relaxation, meditation, chanting, and more. The term is akin to "art" or even "technology," as there are so many different expressions that fall under these categories. The specific form, expression or experience of yoga can be very different from one style to another, or one teacher to another. And all of it has the potential to be an experience of "yoga."
I enjoy learning from many different teachers and practicing what they teach. From Yin and Restorative Yoga to Ashtanga Yoga, I find each practice takes me on my inward journey and provides an opportunity to learn something about my mind, body, energy, and soul.
Lately, I have been practicing the Ashtanga Primary Series several times per week (almost every day), which is one of the most athletically challenging yoga practices that I have experienced. Similar to Tai Chi or certain styles of dance, there is a routine that we follow. Although yoga postures of the original yogis are reported to have emerged out of meditative states rather than vise versa, yoga postures often become a moving meditation, or a process of "moving into meditation." I find sitting meditation to be easier after I have opened my energy channels by moving my body and focusing my mind during postures.
I find that the Primary Series has helped me to explore areas of my body and practice that are challenging for me. For quite some time, I would only practice the postures and meditations that I enjoyed. These became areas that provided comfort. As I face the challenge of the Primary Series and learn to breathe deeply and let go of resistance, I am also learning to be with challenge in the rest of life.
I do not see this practice as the end all be all and I still enjoy many different expressions and experiences of yoga. Sometimes I practice Ashtanga yoga with Iyengar alignment and come out of Savasana with Self-Awakening Yoga Therapeutics to release some tension I feel in my body. Sometimes I follow the Mysore practice with counting and all to experience what that is like. I am grateful for all of the styles that teachers have adopted and passed on. And other times my yoga practice is restorative or sitting meditation without movement. They have each, in their own way, supported me in different phases of life.
Have a beautiful weekend!