I don’t usually post about my exercise routines or my yoga love. But realising the changes my body and mind going through the last 1 year, I need to share this. Those who know me well also know that I am an impatient human being. This of course reflects in my exercising patterns. I like to get the benefits quickly and easily. I started practicing yoga 2,5 years ago to push my limits, focus on my breathing and relax more. I was a bit sceptic at the beginning, like many other people I know who became yoga fans today. I thought it won’t give me the sweats and endorphin that an intensive exercise can give. I can’t say that I tried all kinds of yoga, but still I practiced Yin yoga, flow yoga, power yoga and meditation.
But this one style, “Ashtanga” I came across with only a year ago and it has changed my practice routine! Ashtanga means “eight-limbed yoga” and it is a dynamic kind of yoga. Basically you move all parts of your body in a constant sequence. Until I met Ashtanga, I did not feel that intrigued into practicing every day. Maybe it is because most of the other yoga styles I tried are more breath focused, you move into an asana (posture) and hold it for several minutes. You start to see the perks of yoga immediately, not matter how intensive or spiritual the workout is. Your blood starts circulating deeply, nourishing every organ of you body, soften your muscles and increase your energy. So I kept on doing it.
And one day I met ashtanga yoga
Ashtanga yoga, however, is something quite different. While most of the other yoga types puts you in poses and leaves you there for several minutes, ashtanga keeps you moving. You are in a constant flow, one moment standing up and the other moment you have one leg stretched back. I feel all my body moving and after 10 minutes I can see the sweat on my mat.
- It’s a hard core physical challenge. And it increases your discipline, in exercise and in real life. Practice, practice and it will all come is my main motivation. Ashtanga gives you the flexibility and strength as well as a full body workout! Let me share a secret, it also is main my main weight control method.
- It increases the blood flow not only by moves, but also with the breaths. You take 5 steady breaths for every pose. You feel the circulation immediately. In your brain and your body.
- It increases your concentration. You need to focus. You gaze on a single point in ashtanga practice. I am impatient and have concentration problems. To protect my body and my moves, I need to concentrate. This reflects to your daily life too
- It needs continuity. Basically, you can’t just practice it one day and give a break an start over. Postures work with muscle memory. If you skip your practices, it gets more difficult and if you do it gets easier. That simple.
- It’s a balanced practice. Invocation, salutations, standing poses, seated postures, forward bends, twists, back bends, hip openers, inversions, arm balances, leg extension and flexion, and shoulder opening. Basically every single part of your body works in this practice, including your mind.
- It is a life long practice. And you will see the benefits as you keep continuity. There is always room for improvement, so you will push your limits constantly.