When outside sources fail…
How many different blog themes does a girl need to go through before she finds the right one?
I don’t know, but I seem to be changing the style of mine every 6-8 months. I really like this one though.
This past month, I’ve had the opportunity to share my yoga practices with different WSI centers throughout Korea. We have classes called social clubs where a topic is taught and students have an opportunity to put it into practice. Typical social clubs teach new vocabulary and can cover topics ranging from how to make an appointment with the doctor, popular phrases, pronunciation, so on and so forth. Occasionally, we’ll have special hands-on social clubs where teachers from other centers in Korea will come. Our last one was in June when a man came and taught how to create an indoor garden.
That was a very handy social club, mind you because I was a believer I had a purple thumb. I was SO excited to grow my own coriander, but tried moving the plant too quickly and killed it (not to fear, I’m trying again now that the humidity of summer has passed).
So, I am teaching these quick sort of intro to Ashtanga classes throughout Korea. Okay, I’m really only going to 3 cities (one being the place I work). Creating a simple Powerpoint and sharing the basics of the practice have really helped to me to connect with the practice again. Anyway, they filmed me at one and edited it so here’s the bits of that.
A student asked me how I maintain my practice, what I eat, what time I go to sleep. I’m not going to drone on about how much discipline and mental strength is required for a successful self-practice. Further, I sound so strange once I start to tell people about my lifestyle and my habits. I wouldn’t even say that my “self-practices” are all that great, I’m sure I take too long moving through postures sometimes (and yes, I still get distracted by the irregular ridges on my finger nails or the dirt on the floor, but it isn’t so bad anymore). It’s still hard to believe that I’m doing a daily self practice. I remember when I first came to Korea, I seriously thought that I’d give up ashtanga, but something deep within me believes there is something more.
One of my closest friends recommended this book:
It was the perfect pick me up. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in yoga or a believer in yoga. At first, I even found myself mystified, wondering if it was real, but then this doubt was quickly dispelled. A country so rich in contrasts and focused on religion, this book made me fall in love with India all over again. While this book doesn’t talk about asana, it caused me to ruminate about the Ashtanga practice beyond the physical stuff.
I’d like to add that this was written by an Englishman in the 1930′s so the language is a bit complex, but once you get past the diction, it really is a fascinating read.
In the past, I acquired my inspiration from watching other people’s practices, viewing videos, reading practice manuals and looking illustrations. However, I’ve found that while those are valuable tools, they sort of inhibit me causing me to place emphasis on what I already focus too much, the external. They somewhat stir up my ego, my desire to be something I’m not and cause me to compare with what I don’t have and may never will. There is a source of untapped knowledge within, we just have to turn our focus inward. It is good to think about your actions, thoughts, and why you’re met with resistance. Be aware of how outside influences may cause your mind and body to contract because you could be hindering your own growth.
Brunton’s book really cultivated my passion for the practice in an unusual but refreshing way…check it out!