Lately I have had a lot of questions regarding how I found Ashtanga Yoga and how it has changed my life. Honestly, I went on a healing journey roughly five years ago and turned to meditation and personal development in hopes of finding self love. I found much more than that!
I found myself! Ashtanga became a system that helped me build a foundation to stand on and be my guide through this life. I walked into a Vinyasa class close to my home in Las Vegas to meet like minded people, I didn’t have a group of friends anymore and wanted to start diving into a strong group to surround myself with. The Vinyasa teacher told me to try Ashtanga. I went to my first class and was hooked, but did not like the teacher so I developed an at home practice until I found a teacher that I absolutely adored.
The Teacher Matters
When I found my teacher, I found Mysore. I knew the teacher was right for me the first day, it just clicked for me. I felt myself, free of judgement but wanted to do my best each day. This is how I knew that my teacher was my teacher. Now that I have moved to Utah, I tried my teacher out prior to moving and I’m so glad to have the same relationship with my teacher here. The teacher does matter. Try them out, see how they run the Mysore room, and if you don’t like it then change the teacher.
How Ashtanga has Helped Me Grow
Ashtanga has been my life since I walked into an Ashtanga class. My diet has changed, my lifestyle has changed, my sleeping habits have changed. When I am in a Mysore room, I feel the magic of the practice. They say that the injuries that occur during the practice are healed by the practice, this is true. There is something about this practice that is healing, both in the body and in the spirit. Ashtanga heals, its as simple as that.
It is a practice of personal development because it forces you to see yourself through a lens. You see how your body reacts to certain postures and connect it to the way you deal with life, its as if you are putting yourself through a filter of someone else. The practice molds the body into understanding the self and puts you through so much, but in turn develops a calm, well disciplined being.
With continuous practice you gain an understanding of the body. This was huge for me. I understood what my body was rejecting as far as food and sleep goes. I also started seeing the energy blockages that were present, this continues to show up in my practice and is something I have had to continuously work through.
Ashtanga is a Spiritual Practice
Yes, we as Ashtangis, sit there with feet behind our head and standing on our forearms. A lot of tuning in must happen to get us to this point. Just because the Asana may come easier to some of us, we show up six days a week to this practice. The discipline contributes to the personal growth. The ego is dropped at some point. Surrender happens after so long, and this is a huge wake up call (at least it was for me).
Discipline, dedication, faith, and surrender are what happens when you dedicate your time to this practice. It is beautiful, yet so hard. The time spent is worth while because it is life changing.