The Beginning

Photo By Matt Corigliano

Last night was the first class of the beginner’s Ashtanga yoga course at Ekam.

There was a whole lot of talking about yoga and not a whole lot of actually doing yoga. This was actually really good because as a beginner, you really need to understand the practice you’re diving head-first into, the reasons you’re doing it and what to expect. Those few sun salutations at the end of the class felt amazing, probably because I had made up my mind that I want to do this and I want to have a relationship with yoga – for realsies this time.

I think that every person has their own agenda as to why they start such a practice and it really made me think about why I am doing this. I think that living the kind of lives that we live, we have to try and find some “humanness” in the crazy and hold onto that to keep us sane – in body and mind. I think that a lot of the time we get so caught up in our lives and those around us and our jobs and and and… and forget about focusing on ourselves, deeply and honestly.

I’m not a particularly disciplined person in all aspects of my life (I have a rebellious tendency that I’m keeping under wraps) and I really don’t enjoy being told what to do, or how to do it, and really don’t enjoy failure. From what I learnt last night, I am going to have quite a tough ride…eek…

Here’s a quick summary of the 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, which I found quite interesting. These are the 8 aspects or “limbs” of traditional Ashtanga yogic practice, which lay the foundation for the practice being that of a physical and spiritual exercise, rather than just the physical motions of the postures, or “asanas”. I’m sure I will be exploring most of these in the weeks, months and years to come.

1. Yama: Moral Codes (Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Sexual responsibility, Abstention from greed) – Not bad, right?

2. Niyama: Self-purification and study (Cleanliness, Contentment, Austerity, Self-study, Surrender)

3. Asana: Posture

4. Pranayama: Breath control

5. Pratyahara: Sense control

6. Dharana: Intention

7. Dhyana: Meditation

8. Samadhi: Contemplation

I think that there will be a lot of changes going on from this point forward…especially judging by the fact that I left the pub last night to go to yoga and then went back afterwards!



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