Tag Archives: Ashtanga

Too Much Ego Can Stunt Your Growth

Ashtanga yoga deserves its reputation for being physically demanding. “Intro to Ashtanga” classes that cover about 40-60% of the Primary Series are the most difficult Level One classes out there. The first major hurdle (oft dreaded poses that take years to master) is Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (see pic.) If students can’t fully extend their top leg, they […]

She Asked the Guru, “Can Atheists Do Yoga?”

  Recently a student asked our Ashtanga yoga teacher, “Can people do yoga if they don’t believe in god?” I stopped what I was doing to listen to his answer. See, the thing is, I’m not a Believer. I’m a New Yorker who learned that gurus/pastors/rabbis were just guys with enough charisma to charm their way into […]

IS YOUR ASHTANGA TEACHER A CONTROL FREAK?

I am reblogging Rosa’s post about our Second Series Ashtanga teacher training with Tim Miller. Tim spent a good deal of time addressing the unnecessary “strictness” of Ashtanga. To add a few quotes to Rosa’s: Tim believes in freedom to explore poses and room for personal style. For Parivritta Parsvakonasana he said, “People have a […]

Wannabes and Posers: A Path of Self Improvement?

Remember the words “wannabe” and “poser” from Junior High? Defined as, “a person who tries to be like someone else or to fit in with a particular group of people,” these are derogatory words that imply dissatisfaction with self and weakness of character. But what if “wannabes” are just inspired? They see something worth replicating and they […]

Showing Up: Pattabhi Jois and Woody Allen Agree

In Ashtanga yoga, we practice 6 days a week. Sri K Pattabhi Jois, who brought this yoga method to the West, said, “Yoga is 99% practice and 1% knowledge.” In order to practice, we have to to clear our schedules (including when our college friends are visiting or when we regrettably binged on pizza the night before) and show […]

Lessons from my Love Affair with Instagram

I planned on a one day Instagram experiment in which I’d post hourly or each time I changed location. It never happened. Those photos would’ve been taken in haste and I wouldn’t have received any red heart notifications for them. (Instagram Lesson #1: I DO care what people think. ugh.) But also I was busy doing, you […]

Get It While You Can

The African dance class in my town hosts a different teacher every week. Last week, our teacher was the famous Guinean dancer Abdoulaye Sylla. A few days later, while teaching in Sebastopol, California, he suffered a heart attack in class and died. During one of many memorials, a drummer said, “For any artist, that is the best way […]

Pete Murray (Part Two) on Life Outside of Music

This is Part Two of Pete’s interview. Part One is “Pete Murray on Rock Stardom.” Readers, I haven’t bossed you around yet so perhaps you can indulge me this one time. You NEED to check out the homepage of Pete’s band Life on Planet 9. It’s what every filmmaker wishes they came up with. When […]

Lilli Rusk on Being a Housewife and Yogini

  I’ve known Lilli for a few years because we practice Mysore style Ashtanga yoga in the same room. We joke that her back’s made of wood and mine’s made of steel; we don’t easily bend. Solidarity breeds friendship. I’ve always wanted to know more about how she structures her life in such a way that […]

Susan Taylor on Being Yourself and California Culture

Susan Taylor is one of my yoga teachers at the Ashtanga Yoga Center. She creates a fun improv sequence and incorporates Pilates and circus tricks. One of my favorite things about her is that you can say anything (in or out of class) without shocking her. And she gives hugs freely, thanks students for coming and […]