Hello March! It's cold in Belgium. My body is in a bit of panic, a bit of stress, a bit of not really sure what is happening. Fresh from India and the Philippines, the cold in mother Belgium is rather harsh, to say the least. I know it is just a season, it will pass, winter too must pass to give way to spring. I have to admit, the dark and the cold does get to me and it can be a sad and scary place, the practice helps though.
So how do you start? From the very beginning - like I do, every single day. The beauty of the ashtanga practice is that - it is a system. It is a set sequence and we just follow the progression. Yes, there are a lot of rules. Which makes it quite easy, or hard, depending on how much of a rebel you are. And oh believe me, I'm one to break these rules! I'm very good at that, let's say I have my experience in breaking/testing these rules, and what I have found out is that, these rules do come for a reason.
This newsletter I thought I would make some videos for you. Believe it or not, my parents (and another colleague - hi Eric!) made me do it. My parents are more tech savvy than me, their daughter who is supposed to be an IT consultant. I am quite principled with this whole ashtanga thing. I didn't want to advertise, and I think videos are not really teaching because there is no human touch. But yes they are right, we have to run with the times. This is the way to bring a message across nowadays. In no way does this replace teachers, it's a medium. It is a help on how to start.
First video is a modified sun salutation A. The adjusted version this for my parents when I was teaching them because I have noticed that staying in downward dog was not the best for them at that time (see I am already breaking the ashtanga rules!). The second one is the standard sun salutation A. The third one is the closing postures. You don't know how to start your ashtanga practice? Start with these. Start with one sun salutation. Add another one if you feel good with it. Before you know it you got five already. Do the closing postures and call it a day. Ta da! You have done your practice. That's barely 15 minutes of your day. We tend to think if it's not a hard practice we didn't do anything. The mind can be such a difficult enemy.
I've started with the ashtanga practice after a break up. I moved to Belgium for a relationship but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the relationship did not last. Post breakup, I found myself attending yoga classes in Oelegem. I went on an ashtanga class and I was surprised how much it made me feel. 7 years in, I'm still a fan. The practice helped me heal, mostly allowing me to forgive myself. I had such quite high expectations of myself, I still do. It allows me to find my space and helps me deal with the pain, disappointments, sadness, loneliness... It teachers me that - all of this, is a phase, it will pass, I just have to know how to breathe through it. I come to my mat, every time, in the hope to do this yoga, these movements, this sun salutation, this closing postures. Everyday I am still learning. I learn to treat myself better, I learn to treat others better too. I hope it can help you in your journey too.
You like the video? You don't? Let me know! You have questions or topics you want to ask? Let me know! I am very much happy to get feedback. It makes me happy to share this ashtanga method with you. Like me on Instagram, and Facebook. Subscribe to YouTube and join my mailing list. Come to my classes, join me on the journey!