Diary of a Lazy Ashtangi – Intro

Feet on yoga mat

As I am flowing through the Primary Series in my living room, I suddenly have a brainwave: I need to keep a yoga practice diary and blog it.

Recently, I have been worrying about how to keep my daily Ashtanga self-practice going. After a year long struggle with a frozen shoulder (not yoga related!) and hence a long break from Ashtanga yoga, I am finally able to go through the full Primary again.

For the past three weeks, I have practiced under the guidance of two of my favourite teachers, Prem and Radha at Ashtanga Yoga Bali. Tuesday was my last practice with them. The weather was warm but not too hot. I felt focussed and energised. The vibes in the shala were in tune with how I felt. I almost shed a tear when I sang the closing chant. It was a great practice.

After travelling home on Wednesday, I allowed myself a day off. On Thursday, I went to a friend’s Vinyasa class and Friday, after sleeping in, I finally climbed on my mat again. It felt good, but not as good as my last practice in Bali. I was missing the energy of the shala, the presence of the teachers and fellow practitioners. Saturday no practice of course, but a few glasses of wine, a delicious meat stew made by our neighbour, lots of cheese, up till late and what do you know, when I finally made it to the mat on Sunday around 10 am, I felt like crap. The heating system in the living room wasn’t working, I was cold and unable to warm up. My body felt tight and rigid. Energyless, I skipped a part of the closing sequence and I was frustrated from beginning to end.

Am I really going to let all the progress I had achieved go to waste? After three weeks of daily practice with dedicated Ashtanga teachers who – as usual – re-polished my alignment and gave me all the practical modifications I need for my still rather tight shoulder joint, am I really going to fall back into my undisciplined routine?

It’s time for a change.

I will from henceforth commit to a daily practice again – Saturdays, moondays and “ladies’ moondays” excepted. Also, since I really don’t want to be an Ashtanga fundamentalist, I will allow myself to skip an Ashtanga practice if I go to another yoga class – Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, anything. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

However, as my husband and several others close to me will attest, is it not the first time that I set that intention. And frankly, my self-practice track record is deplorable.

So here is where this morning’s brainwave comes in.

Instead of committing to just the practice, I will commit to writing about it. By creating a potential world wide audience for my acte the présence on the mat with my blogs, I will pretend that the entire world is watching over my shoulder. Even if not a single soul reads my blogs, I will feel the pressure of having to show up. I will ujjayi breathe my way through the practice feeling the piercing eyes of an anonymous crowd following my moves.

And perhaps, as a bonus, I will inspire some other lazy Ashtangis out there. Maybe, my stories will help others to find strength, knowing that they are not the only ones struggling with the discipline of a daily practice.

So here’s to the birth of my weekly blog, the diary of a lazy Ashtangi.

See you on the mat!

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