In an age, when fitness is all about slowing down, people tend to associate ashtanga yoga with fast and challenging. You must have heard of the gruelling six-day-a-week practise or witnessed pretzel-like postures. Yes, ashtanga is an intense practice and tends to attract people to say the least, but not everything you have seen or heard about the practice is true. People often tend to get wrong about humble practice. Here are some of the biggest Ashtanga yoga myths out there.
1 You Should Be Young, Fit and Flexible to Practice Ashtanga
Do you really need to know how to swim before you take swimming lessons? Of course, not. The whole point of practice is to learn. You start where you are and slowly grow and transform along the way. You eventually get fit and flexible and start seeing results.
2 Ashtanga Is a Substitute for Meditation
While this form of yoga is not a substitute, it helps prepare the body by settling the mind and clearing the blocked energy channels. This can be done by practising ujjayi pranayama which is a part of the ashtanga yoga system. Yoga is all about learning to meditate by preparing the system.
3 Ashtanga Is All About Getting Physically Fit
While most experts may emphasise on the body, ashtanga is a lot about purifying the mind. The physical postures are a way to calm the mind so it is reciprocal. If you are doing ashtanga, you are reaping all the benefits of the body as well as the mind.
4 You Must Practise Six Days A Week
According to the protocol set by Pattabhi Jois who created Ashtanga, a practice of six days is a must. But life happens and people travel. So, if you can’t hop onto the yoga mat six days a week, it is absolutely okay to practice when you can. Always be kind to your body. Here are the steps and benefits of surya namaskar or sun salutation.
5 You Must Practice Early In the Morning
There is no set time to practice yoga. Yes, practising yoga in the morning can set you up for the day but ashtanga yoga can be done any time of the day. Just be sure to practise on an empty stomach, preferably three to four hours after your meal. Goat yoga, beer yoga and other bizzare yoga asanas you have to see to believe.
6 Hard Work Gives You Better Results
Yoga is all about finding balance and ashtanga yoga is a wonderful tool to tune the body and calm the mind. But like anything, if you take things too extreme, there is a chance of becoming dogmatic. Therefore, practice slow, and go with the flow.
Ashtanga yoga is one of the best ways to develop a routine of self-discipline and eventually your own daily yoga and meditation practice.