I wanted this post to be special and to include only those entries I read throughout the year that added value for all, and of course, relate to Ashtanga Yoga
I am SURE there are other valuable posts I may have missed. Feel free to share links in the comments if you found something that taught you, left you thinking, helped you along the path and relates to ashtanga. As long as it adds value it belongs on the list. Together with the link let us know why it is relevant, what it taught you and how it relates to the practice.
Here is my 32 best posts of 2011 pertaining to Ashtanga Yoga. Perhaps there is a few more than 32, but who is counting? And the more value the better, right?
Student and Teacher
Sharath Jois, during an early December conference, says that if someone asks him his occupation he says yoga student because there is still too much to learn. (In the questions and answers portion)
I am a student and always will be, says Paul Dallaghan in his article: The Path of The Student. He is not only a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher and student but also a senior teacher/student of pranayama under O.P. Tiwariji.
How to get started with Ashtanga Yoga in 32 suggestions. Now you know who wrote that one.
Fear in Back-bend -by Kino MacGregor- is what I am going through, the post hit home for me, especially the part of not rushing at the expense of technique.
I appreciated the ten tips for drop-backs of Ashtangi Angel as she finally got to doing it.
Also from Kino, this post explaining how to jump back (with video and in five stages) has been the most useful thing I saw in 2011. The holding of the legs together mid-flight is something I attempt daily these days thanks to it, and it is helping me build stamina and sometimes, sort-of, jump back.
This is the best explanation I have found on pasasana (the first pose of the intermediate series). Just listening to David Garrigues made me aware of things I did not even fathom before. A post to savor.
Richard Freeman explores the impact that smoking marijuana has on practice, and it is not that productive.
Nobel considers how useful are DVDs for learning a yoga asana practice? I have to say for me they are very much so, that is how I started!
How does one go about doing a headstand? Grimmly was posed the question early this year and came up with these suggestions.
Practicing while injured is always an inspiration to non-injured practitioners watching. the sorting of the obstacles makes us grateful for what we have.
Taking Care of Our Bodies
Kiki Flynn made my day, or rather, my fourth quarter, with her explanation of how daily dry brushing helps the skin detoxify, shed the old, open those pores, and glow. I now do it every day.
On that note I had a very popular post on how to do a castor oil bath, or the Ashtanga Yoga Saturday Practice, and I have gotten e-mails from people that started going for it after reading.
Don’t squander life force. Remember what Iyengar says, for every 30 minutes of asana practice, 5 of savasana (rest or corpse pose) are indicated to let the nervous system have a chance to come back to neutral.
Early this year I asked out loud what does “nutation” mean? (which I now understand as tilting the pelvis backwards and forward). I never expected that Senior Ashtanga Yoga Student/Teacher David Keil himself would take the time to answer.
James came with me to Mysore for the first time in his life in January -a place where he never dreamed he would go- and of course he practiced at AYRI. In his own words, which are very funny, he was completely humiliated by yoga.
A few months later he came with me to Sharath’s tour of NYC in April, where he was humiliated again. He cannot use that line ever again!
What does it mean to be authorized to teach by the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute? Here is a post that explores the question in a balanced and interesting way and by someone who is authorized.
Sharath’s conferences are always interesting to me. Two that stand out are one from January where students asked about all kinds of ‘problems’ and how to deal with them, and he kept coming back with one and only one answer.
The second conference to stand out is one that Suzzy recounted from a few weeks ago where Sharath goes over how the transformation happens, what the goal of asana is and answers very interesting questions.
MysorePedia (dot com) is one of my most read posts and it has lots of information on how to get around, where to go, where to eat etc while visiting Ashtanga Central. If you want to add a place or wrote a post about a place let me know, I will link!
If you find yourself ready to teach, here is an eye-opening post on how to start a Mysore program from Lanka. It’s in two parts, here is the second one. It takes quite a bit of energy to go ahead with this endeavour and it does not always work as Nobel explains. But it is worth pursuing if the calling strikes.
Ashtanga is guaranteed transformation, if you want it, says David Robson.
Bramacharya is more than sex energy. Great read on the way to harness energy for all of us, also from Paul Dallaghan.
Is there such a thing as quality vs. quantity in Mysore practice? wonders the un-ashtangi
There was that article in Bloomberg Business Week that made many of us cringe because of the lack of frugality and, may I say, common sense. I felt compelled to post how much I spend on yoga (coming from real experience rather than fantasy) and a bunch of other ashtangis did the same thing, like, for example: SereneFlavour and Kai, among many others.
New in 2011
This year Grimmly put together a practice book on Vinyasa Krama sequences, which is something many ashtangis use. It is a work in progress and a very useful resrouce because of the detail that is going into it. He is offering it for free as well. He will be uploading a second edition (also free) at his blog soon.
A new (old) student of Krishnamacharya was found this year, in NYC. And he has a notebook!
Wonder what it is like to take a few days of practice with Lino Miele? here is a taste.
Flying Floating and Hand-standing, a story from a David Swenson workshop
We are pretty lucky to have so many dedicated practitioners sharing in on the path. If you found a blog-post that added value to your Ashtanga practice (no gossip or mean things please) share with us in the comments and tell us how it helped you.
Here is wishing you a great 2012!