You know what I think, this is what I feeeeel.

By on Jul 15, 2015 in The Unruly Ascetic

I think sometimes I share my convictions without doing a great job of sharing how I got there.  I can explain to you why something about the practice is fair by the standards I’ve been given, but I don’t always include why I believe in it. I see that my belief can be off-putting.  Let me explain. I really want people to be happy and kind.  I am a firm believer in the phrase “you don’t have to be wrong for me to be right.” I love seeing people do whatever brings them happiness.  Doing my practice brings me so much happiness that it has taken over my life. This happiness is complex.  It’s not necessarily enjoyment, but rather a contentment that comes from a good effort. I have a really hard time knowing if I am doing a good job.  I have this constant, nagging fear that I could be putting more effort into everything, whether a posture or my life in general. I think this is likely...

Wild Speculation

By on Jul 12, 2015 in The Unruly Ascetic

Holy Lord Ganesha, the times are a changin’. Today someones noticed that the KPJAYI has posted a new requirement for practicing with Sharath:  You must have at least tried to study with someone who is in his lineage. Gasp. The horror.  So many people won’t be able to go now!  It’s the official policy that you can’t learn from youtube. How can he say that? That someone who tries each morning on their own, despite not having a teacher, is not ready to come to Mysore?!  So many prospective exotic Indian adventures thwarted. I am being sarcastic, in case that is lost in the reading. I have very little sympathy for the ‘home practitioner’ argument. I think this step is long overdue, for all the obvious reasons of mysore-yoga-tourism and the sheer number of people who want to come just to say they’ve come, but also for that home practitioner who doesn’t have a teacher. I will now commence...

Brothers know best.

By on Jul 8, 2015 in The Unruly Ascetic

My brother has been practicing Ashtanga for a few months now.  Mostly behind my back, but lately he’s been coming to my class, willfully refusing my advice and getting distracted by badass ladies. It’s fun. He’s pretty cool: 25, super fit, into rock climbing and slack lining, building skateboards, riding his bike, and drinking craft beer.  He’s smart and nice and generally a good sport. He asked me during practice today if we can cater his practice to suit his interests and goals for his body.  He is concerned that he will be expected to put a lot of effort into skills that he doesn’t see any value in (namely, the entirety of intermediate). I laughed and told him that’s what happens in a vinyasa class.  He laughed, immediately recognizing his faux pas. “I wouldn’t be doing Ashtanga then?” I then proceeded to explain that the primary series is geared toward physical health, toward the...

ROBOTS ATTACKING

By on Jul 2, 2015 in The Unruly Ascetic

Well apparently Yoshimi did not protect me from the evil natured robots (any Flaming Lips fans out there?). Obviously they attacked my awesome blog because I have so many righteous followers. But they have been smited by the glorious and powerful Jimmy Crow. Long story short, I know the blog got hacked. Thanks for all the heads up and sorry for the crushing disappointment that I am sure you felt when you realized that it was not the insightful and inspiring, totally grammatically correct writing that you usually get emailed about. I’ll have a new blog post soon… probably something about how I like learning stuff and how ashtanga helps with that. xo

Long hair, don’t care.

By on Jun 25, 2015 in The Unruly Ascetic

Practicing Yoga is like getting a haircut… There’s no right way to get a haircut.  It is based on preference, intention, and need.  The client  is working with a very specific amount and type of hair.  The stylist has a specific set of tools and skills.  Some people like short hair and some barbers like using trimmers.  Student and teacher (oops! client and stylist) work together out of logic and trust. If I want a military haircut I can get a decent one from most barbers around, but I’ll do best to go the barber who does the most of them.  Just as if I want long layers I probably won’t go to the military barber, but would find someone who practices and enjoys cutting long hair. I know, it’s not perfect.  Barbers cut hair FOR you, your teacher doesn’t practice FOR you.  It’s not perfect.  But I’m going with it. Going to Mysore is like going to see this super famous stylist. This...