Right after publishing my post last week about learning to surrender through Ashtanga Yoga, I thought a good follow up would be to give reasons why everyone should try Ashtanga. I am grateful to Ellina Kim, owner of Maitri Yoga Store and Ashtanga teacher at One Down Dog, for being able to narrow it down to five. Who better to give reasons than one who practices and teaches it on a daily basis.
It is challenging to limit the benefits of this practice to just five, but if you are considering or curious about Ashtanga, here are Ellina’s top 5:
In the Western world, discipline isn’t valued as much as it is in the East. But with inner discipline, a yogi can create an express highway for Samadhi, which is loosely defined as a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation. If you cannot discipline the body, it is impossible to discipline with the mind, and only with the control of the mind can you reach a place of true stillness.
3. Establishes a teacher/student relationship and bond
This is one of the rare practices in modern day yoga that the teacher is the one that decides when you progress forward. There will be times when the student will want to learn a new posture or move on to the next series and the teacher will not allow it. The idea of want is the Ego attaching to the world and when the Ego gets challenged, it fights like a 2 year old child. But through those feelings, one can come face to face with attachments and can hopefully move past them.
5. Allows you to go inward into your personal breath and inner world