Day 30

Style: Ashtanga
Teacher: Daniel Mendoza
Studio: Santosha Elgin

It's day 30 and I'm still alive. This week has been the hardest yet. I've had no energy, collapsing soon after most yoga classes. I've had to work harder then ever to get myself to the studio again and again. At the second Ashtanga in a row with Dan, I'm growing to enjoy his style of teaching even more. His delivery is very calm. Tonight he spoke of three important elements of Ashtanga. The first and most important is the breath. This is a recurring theme in every style of yoga I've tried. In Ashtanga, the technique is called the Ujjayi breath, and basically sounds like the Ocean or Darth Vader. Many teachers describe it as the way you breathe if you were fogging a piece of glass, only your mouth is closed. The air released through your constricted throat is a powerful, directed breath that you can send into different areas of your body that need it during a sequence. The second element is known as the Bandhas. Bandha is the term used to describe a muscular contraction or lock, and in Ashtanga yoga it causes a feeling of root strength, a physical and mental lightness. The root bandha is said to cut through brahma granthi, the energetic knot of our resistance to change. The third and final element he focused on is known as the Drishti, or gaze. When you place and hold your gaze on a fixed point, it purifies and stabilizes the functioning of the mind. Like most things, this is much easier in theory then in practice, and my mind has been known to disobey direct orders. The more I study yoga, the more I understand just how sophisticated it is. The more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn. It's a journey with no final destination.


Post a Comment