So I began this practice that is Ashtanga back in November and started a home practice around early January. I couldn't afford to become a member so in addition to my home practice I did guided led classes once or twice a week. Just that was changing my life so out of self-love I said fuck it and finally decided to roll the dice and have faith that the finances would work itself out and enrolled as a member which allowed me to start Mysore style Ashtanga yoga.
I think a lot of us come to this practice and are looking for transformation and the practice does indeed provide transformation in a very short period of time, at least for me it has. I now wake up at 5:30 am most days, drive to the beach to the shala, I arrive and the usually sunny and loud south beach streets are dark, quite, and very peaceful.
I enter the shala, greet the front desk lady, and grab a towel. I walk in to the Mysore room, my teacher points to my spot. I set up my mat, try not to step on anyone in the packed room. I still can’t believe how many people wake up this early to do this and I just think these people must be fucking nuts and then realize I’m there too most days with them, so go figure.
I do my opening prayers to myself, and then jump right into it, there’s always a feeling of oh Jesus here we go again. Then I just try my best not to get frustrated, sometimes a sense of unworthiness creeps in, anger and ego poke their heads in too most of the time. I also get very hard on myself and compare myself to others. These are the negative tendencies of my personality that have been expressing themselves lately in my practice.
This is also what sometimes gets expressed when I am going through really difficult situations in life if I’m not being conscious and aware or otherwise just being a shitty person. So I believe you can use your asana practice to help you become aware of how you react to things when you’re being tested. Then you can try and be aware of those emotions during your practice. Then try your best not to get stuck in the same loop of emotions and instead of reacting to them respond with equanimity and just accept yourself.
To me this is all about being becoming stronger inside. It’s about developing your character, integrity, and equanimity. It’s about doing the work you need to do to transcend and let go of the bad stuff in you so you can become a better person with more happiness, joy, and peace inside.
That’s why yoga is a spiritual practice, a very strong one at that. It breaks you down. I have faith that eventually it’ll build you back up but I don’t know yet I’m still being broken down so well see.
Lately I've been getting stuck in all my bullshit though.
Every single day I fall out of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and get pissed off, I get frustrated in backbends, I hate Janu Sirasana C on the right side, and my shoulders fight with all their might to bind in anything. I do a good job at not getting distracted by all the incredibly cute girls, just looking at my drishti minding my own business, but who am I kidding it’s a distraction. My right lotus in marichasana D, god damn you my ankle hates you. Oh and my nose leaks like the hoover dam and I have to blow it like fifty times so none of the cute girls see snot hanging off my nose. I am about to do Sutra Kriya I swear to god.
I don’t know how this works but this practice just reveals all your bullshit too you. It’s really amazing and it’s really hard. I have a lot of admiration and respect for longtime ashtangi’s and I often wonder if this is easy for them or if everyone is going through their own unique struggle in their practice. Am I the only crazy one I can’t be, I think?
The strangest thing though after only a couple months of daily practice and a month of mysore I feel really good inside, like really good, like fat kid eating cake good. My sleep schedule is better, waking up early although hard in the beginning is the best and sometimes I go to La Carreta after practice and get French toast, bad yogi I know but I digress.
Side note sitting down for breakfast after practice with my book about Guruji and fresh squeezed orange juice is insanely amazing.
Besides the French toast my diet is a lot better, my anxiety gone, I don’t feel lazy or lethargic at all, and I feel more alive.
I feel really happy and joyful, cracking more jokes than usual, and it really helped me to heal from a breakup a couple months ago in a really healthy way. I really hope she’s doing well by the way universe, she was an awesome and beautiful person.
My spiritual self-study time has been so much more focused and I am really loving the Yoga Sutra class being taught by my teacher Patrick and getting to hang with all the amazing people at the shala. Just being around positive people that you look up too it makes you stronger and gives you something to strive for cause you see the fruit of the work and its inspiring, everyone is so awesome at MLC.
Tomorrow at Mysore I am going to try and go slower tomorrow, maybe just take it all in, smile a little more and not be so intense tomorrow, see how that works out for me.