Ashtanga: Take 2

I could hear the inhales and exhales around me of the uji breath.  It struck me as harmonious: like the waves of the ocean.  It was oddly comforting and allowed me to melt back into the flow of my sweaty vinyasa.  I was in a small room with lovely wooden floors and the sun streaming in.  It was a lovely crisp morning and the room was quite cozy and filled with people who were excited to be there.  Their energies shown around me.  I could feel the santosha, or contentment, swell up around me.  I was sweaty with exhausted arms of jelly, but content.  I felt like I belonged. I love this feeling in yoga, when I feel exhausted and sweaty, but also peaceful and that somehow this is one of those wonderful moments to savor in life.

I was in the middle of an Ashtanga yoga class.  I had been invited by a teacher of mine, Rossana Lo.  It was a lovely class.  I had only done Ashtanga yoga once before in a mysore setting and hadn’t had a good experience.  I was overwhelmed by not knowing the series and intimidated by all the yoginis around me doing many contorted things with their bodies that I could not fathom ever doing. This was different.  The people were more accepting.  Most of them were still doing very contorted things that maybe someday I might or might not ever do, but this time it was ok.   I remember that yoga is about the journey and the destination is irrelevant because even if I were to get to the crazy pose point, there will always be something more. So I sweat and take chaturanga on my knees and remember to do the uji breath and it is good.

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