5 things to DEFINITELY say to an Ashtanga Yoga teacher ..
1. You’ve got a lovely backbend.
Guruji Pattabhis Jois would comment that students needed a strong body before they could consider making their mind strong to help them practice the other limbs of Ashtanga Yoga , and his quote of ‘Do your practice and all is coming’ became a personal mantra for the Ashtanga Yoga community worldwide . And as humans with a fundamental need to be loved us Ashtangis are not averse to a bit of ego stroking when we bust out a few bad ass asanas in front of class. There’s been a lot of blood sweat and tears gone into that bit of showboating..
2. I’ve started reading the sutras.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are widely believed to be the Ashtanga Yoga bible (even Guruji would call his Ashtanga Yoga ‘Patanjali Yoga’) so when a student rocks up to class with a sutra commentary clearly on display for all to see in their yoga mat bag expect a tear or two of joy from the teacher. But do be aware, make sure you’ve got a spare couple of hours if you ever ask your teacher to elaborate on a particular sutra. We do love the sound of our pontificating voices : )
3. Can we do the chant today?
As much as Ashtangis like to show their prowess in asana we love just as much to lead our classes through a rousing chorus of ‘Vande Gurunam’. Usually the chant is a call and response affair with the ‘teach’ up front busting through each line in a pitch perfect (they think) stylee with a real mixed bag of styles & keys coming back at them from the class. Put it this way when Guruji said ‘Do your practice and all is coming’ he meant you must practice your scales too.
4. I’m thinking about making the jump from the led classes into the Mysore self-practice sessions.
Ahhh this one is sweet music to our ears. The true method of Ashtanga Yoga is in the ‘Mysore Style’ self-practice as first taught by Guruji and now by his grandson Sharath Jois in Mysore,South India. Students always feel a little daunted at first when they leave the comfort zone of their led class for the great unknown of self-practice, and when ‘personal space’ is invaded in an up close n personal adjustment from the teacher the student might feel they’ve made a wrong move. Slowly slowly the practice reveals it’s essence over time and students can stop hiding their cheat sheet under their mat and throw it in the bin.
5. I’ve quit my Bikram yoga practice.
No elaboration necessary ; )
Wondering what the 5 things to NEVER say to an Ashtanga Yoga teacher are ? Find out here.