Ashtanga Yoga beyond the preconceived ideas

Between all the types of yoga, which one is your favorite ? Have you ever wondered?

Well, I asked myself.
Hatha, the classical ? The one I practiced the most.
Restorative yoga ? Too boring for me.
Hot yoga ? Never tried before arriving in Singapore. Yes, because in Singapore, you just need to switch off the AC and you have your hot yoga, right ? Moreover, it’s better for the earth…
Naked yoga ? Well… I prefer to self-censor.
Stand Up Paddle Yoga ? Challenging and perfect for water lovers like me.
Wine/beer yoga ? I am european, I can understand. For the fun.
Pet yoga ? Personal version : What the f*** ? Official and polite version : Sorry, not interested.
Ashtanga ?

Before begining the YTT, I didn’t have the opportunity to practice Ashtanga. Mainly, I practiced Hatha yoga or hatha with an unconscious mix of Ashtanga postures or maybe some unkown yoga made in the Western world.

The only things I heard about Ashtanga scared me and made me think it wasn’t for me. Between « it’s the most difficult type of yoga » or « you need to be sporty to practice Ashtanga » and, « Ashtanga yoga is so painful. It destroyed all of the joints », I preferred to stay far away this kind of yoga. For me Ashtanga was another and mysterious world for superior people I don’t belong to.

When I registered with the YTT, I didn’t pay attention that Ashtanga was on the menu. Better. For sure, I wouldn’t signed for the training.

Now, imagine my face when I opened the book at midnight, namely few hours before arriving for my first day of training. The half of the book was about Ashtanga Yoga.
Too bad but too late to change my mind.

Week after week, I discover ashtanga yoga and I can say I like it very much. So much, I sometimes completely forget what is a sun salutation in hatha.
Why ? I give you some reasons :

  • It gives me a lot of energy.
  • It puts a stop to my mind when I have too much thoughts. With Ashtanga I need to be fully focused on what I am doing. I cannot think to other things.
  • The repetition of the postures, always in the same order, gives a side of something ritual.
  • It is precise and rigorous. I like this.
  • I feel my body stronger.
  • There is a kind of « surpassing oneself », I appreciate a lot.

I don’t know if all these points are correct. It’s only what I personally feel during and after the ashtanga practice. I can just tell you : make your own experience.

In the recent weeks, I have learned so much. It’s quite difficult to choose only one thing that stands out. However, for the physical practice, without a doubt, it’s Ashtanga.