Recently it seems everything in my life so far has pointed me to this.
I was being nudged onto the path of Ashtanga Yoga.
It’s just that, for a long time, I was too blind or ignorant to pay attention to the signs.
So that you don’t make the same mistake and instead recognize the messages the universe is trying to send your way earlier, here are a few tell-tale signs to identify the hidden Ashtangi in yourself.
You know you were born to do Ashtanga if:
1. You wake up early.
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t need an alarm clock and are a perpetual lark, you know what to do in the mornings when everyone is still snoozing! I had been waking up even before the sun comes up every day not knowing what to do until I found Ashtanga and then it dawned to me—maybe I was pre-programmed to be an Ashtangi and I just never knew about it.
2. You love coconut water.
OK, this is not a sure fire sign, but a good one none-the-less. Of course having an inclination towards green juices, raw food or a vegan diet helps too. Sensitivity towards what your body loves or needs can be an advantage in easing you into an Ashtanga practice. It may mean that your palate won’t rebel and it’ll be easier transitioning into a more
sattvic diet that accumulates less toxins within you.
3. You are fiercely independent (and not always in a good way).
If you are the kind who is self-motivated to the extent of being stubborn, Ashtanga is for you. Since you would be spending a lot of time self-practicing this is a must (unless you develop it through the practice). Whether you visit a Shala or are a home-practitioner, the only tools you would need are your breath and your mat. So make sure you are ok with just these as your constant companions.
4. You notice muscles on people.
You are fascinated by those biceps and triceps showing with even slightest movement of your hand! Well, any other strength building would be relevant for you but if you’re keen on yoga then it has to be Ashtanga. If you quote me on this publicly, I might refuse to acknowledge you because now that I am an adult it sounds a bit silly. But growing up my favorite Spice Girl was Sporty Spice (yes she was). I was completely in awe of those strong arms and awesome abs. Was my inclination to muscular body types developing my taste for Ashtanga Yoga at a younger age? I don’t know, but after I embraced the practice these memories did come rushing back me making me wonder if it was a sign!
There were many more such signs in my past that kept guiding me towards the path of Ashtanga Yoga. My inclination towards chanting, my fascination with mythology, my determined loyalty towards my teachers; it was as if all these characteristics that seemed insignificant parts of my personality were slowly seasoning me for becoming an Ashtangi later.
I am not saying this is a checklist for being a student of Ashtanga Yoga. Maybe you don’t qualify with any of the above, are a consistent and dedicated practitioner and still love the practice. But if you are still figuring out the direction of your life and you do relate to any of the above, even a little bit, I would say roll out that mat and start discovering Ashtanga yoga today.
Seek the practice because all this time it might have been seeking you.
Bonus: How we can make yoga more accessible to marginalized groups without turning into a “generous thief.”
Author: Ruchi Kapoor
Editor: Sarah Kolkka