Thursday, June 14, 2007

99% practice and 1% theory

About this blog:
"99% practice and 1% theory"
- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois once said: "Practice, and all is coming." This weblog will document my efforts to test and live out this maxim. For one year, starting tomorrow, I'm going to practice the Primary Series of Ashtanga yoga every day to the best of my ability.

I realise there will be days when I simply can't practice. On those days, I'll take a break or do a shorter Hatha practice. My experiment will be complete when I've practiced 365 times. With the odd day off, this will take me a little over a year.

I'll document my experience here: my experience of the practice, the ins-and-outs of a rigourous daily routine, and how it effects my yoga practice overall.

A bit about me:
I'm not new to yoga - I've been practising for over ten years and I'm a full-time Hatha Yoga teacher. Over the years, I've tried many styles of yoga, including Ashtanga, but it's never been my favourite. My own practice is primarily Anusara and I teach Classical Hatha Yoga to my students (with a bit of an Anusara flair derived from my own practice).

Here's the back story:
One night, while teaching my evening classes, I had a sudden inspiration. Ever since going to my teacher H's class the week before, I'd found myself keen for a sweaty, challenging, vinyasa practice. I never seem to be able to accomplish a vigourous practice at home, on my own. I simply get lazy and don't work very hard.

As my students floated along in Savasana, I brainstormed and wondered if I could find a simple, basic, Ashtanga primary series DVD to practice with. There is - and from a source I never expected.

A few years ago I briefly taught a 'power yoga' style class at a gym and I read the book 'Power Yoga' by Beryl Bender Birch to plan my sequences.

Turns out, BBB has a 'Power Yoga' DVD which presents the Ashtanga Primary Series in it's entirety (with a few other poses thrown in for good measure). The reader reviews were mixed, but from those people who are familiar with the Ashtanga practice, the reviews were *fantastic*. The only negative reviews complained that this DVD was 'too hard' (”Perfect!” I thought).

There was only one copy of this DVD available in my city and as of 9 a.m. the next morning, I owned it. I will use this DVD to guide my home practice.

1 comment:

Krishna said...

Dear Friend


I am Krishna , a Certified yoga teacher from India ( Sivananda Style ) and have been practicing and teaching the Sivananda style of Yoga for around 10 years and only now making the next shift to Ashtanga and have started on with the Primary series and this first article on your blog very much resonated my own inspiration to Ashtanga and I too wanted to document my own journey on Ashtanga and happy to find that there is a dedicated group of bloggers who are keeping a journal of their daily dedicated practice and that helps me a lot in shaping my own personal practice . As of now I am practicing on my own using DVDs and Books as well going through the various Ashtanga Blogs like urs to get some valuable tips .All the best in your Ashtanga Journey and since ur first article itself very much resonated with what I am currently feeling I was eager to send you this message .
Bye Bye om peace