If you have been practicing yoga for a while now, and are looking to level-up your yogic practice, Ashtanga yoga is a perfect option for you. It is regarded as one of the difficult yoga forms that require hard work, and consistent yoga practice to master the advanced yoga poses.
However, before you get along to practicing Ashtanga yoga, have a brief reading about what exactly comes under Ashtanga Yoga. Follow up.
Ashtanga comprises two Sanskrit words, “Ashta” and “Anga”. ‘Ashta’ means Eight and ‘Anga’ signifies Limbs, so, it means Eight Limb Path, based on the yogic philosophy of Patanjali. The Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are as follows:
Expect to Fail
Even for an expert yoga practitioner, it won’t be an easy task at the very first day of Ashtanga yoga practice. You need to understand that instead of making the yoga practice easy, your mind and body will be made stronger by putting you through the practice again and again.
It is through failures that you learn to accept the defeat, be it mental or physical, and thus grow exponentially with consistent yoga practice.
Hot Yoga Session
It is not Hot yoga or Bikram yoga but Ashtanga yoga that you are practicing here. Therefore, you need to be ready to practice in a hot place. Moreover, have a towel by your side because there will be a lot of sweating.
Sometimes, while you practice in a crowded class, you might feel others’ sweat landing on you, which is very normal. But in case you are a hygiene freak, it is recommended that you either come upfront of the class, or you look for a less crowded space.
Ashtanga yoga consists of a flow of yoga poses that never let you stay for a moment in between the poses. Even when you are resting, you are going to practice mini sun salutations to keep your body warm and never to break the flow and intensity of your practice.
Moreover, the fast pace should not let you push yourself beyond your current limit, pushing you to follow the suit. Thus, you are always advised to keep at your own pace. It is so to make your body adapt to the fast and intense yoga style, so that, you can free from any sort of injury.
To start with, there will be 10 sun salutations right at the beginning of your Ashtanga yoga practice. The first yoga session lasts up to 90 minutes which can be a complete workout in itself for some other forms of yoga.
While practicing yoga, you are undergoing repetitive motion, doing a sequence of yoga asanas over and over again. It tires your body, never lets you have a complete rest, and once you set aside in between the yoga asanas, slow warming up practice is still there, so that, you shouldn’t cool down.
You might encounter few people who warm-up before the Ashtanga yoga class, performing complex yoga poses that might put a contortionist to shame. However, you need not follow them since it is your first Ashtanga yoga class.
However, you need to keep in mind not to get distracted or highly excited by such show-offs. Rather, if you want to have more focus, shift to the front of the yoga class to narrow your vision to just the yoga teacher.
Also Read: What to Expect At First Vinyasa Yoga Class
Hard Yoga Poses
Since Ashtanga yoga is an advanced yoga class that requires hardworking and diligent yoga practitioners. Thus, while practicing yoga, you might come across very complex and hard yoga poses that even the expert yoga practitioners shy away from.
Being a beginner, you need to identify with such high-level yoga poses, and you need to keep in mind your current yogic level, so that, you never get any injury. Performing such poses need a lot of work, on physical as well as mental level. Thus, you are suggested to go for advanced yoga poses once you are completely in.
Surrendering means you neither push yourself beyond your limits too soon nor hold your place of comfort for too long. While practicing Ashtanga yoga, you must go with the flow, stop when you feel any sort of discomfort, and push when you feel like on the top of your mind and body.
Ashtanga yoga might be a difficult yoga practice, but that doesn’t mean that you should be giving up. Keep in mind to start slow, be it yogic practice or the time you are devoting to your practice. Over time, you gain a strong, athletic, and a well-toned body with a powerful and disciplined mind.