Ashtanga series: My first Ashtanga Mysore practice

“Practice and all is coming.” Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

First Ashtanga Mysore practice / Primary Series



It’s Saturday morning. 7 Am alarm rings. Go take a shower. Put on the yoga clothes and my favorite woolen jumper.

Mister husband is so kind that he wakes up on his free day to prepare a very small breakfast before my Ashtanga class, a small kvarg and some tea. I even get an after practice doggy bag: tea, a banana & a mix of nuts, raisins, coconut & goji berries. He’s a sweetheart 🙂

I finish my green tea and go to take the tram to go to yoga. Music in my ears, chill air touching my face. The streets are almost empty. First day of weekend.

It feels good to be on the streets on a early hour (for weekend standards) and on your way to the yoga class. God, I missed this! Being just the student 🙂

I get to the class and I find lovely people in there.

We start with a few breaths and opening mantra. First Sun Salutation it’s all together, then everyone does according to his own rhythm. It’s my first Mysore class! I get distracted by the voices around me. Tobias goes and assists the people around me. I hear them talking. Hard to focus my mind. My Ujjaiy is not working. I feel I need to breathe on my nose. One Ujjaiy, one inhalation on the nose. Ok, here we go. Focus Lavinia! Focus! Breathe in, breathe out. Ekam inhale, Dve exhale, Trini inhale etc Oh crap…which number was it? Ok, we start again. Ekam inhale arms up, Dve exhale. Remember bandha…we keep on going.

Down Dog – Tobias comes and does the best adjustment ever for my shoulders and shoulder blades. Wow – I think I’m finally starting to feel uddyana bandha! Is this how it should really feel? I feel some muscles there that I don’t think I’ve ever used before! And I feel the core much more engaged than ever before. Uddyana bandha happens naturally when I take my shoulder blades away from each other and internally rotate my shoulders and inner elbows. Ok, one more time. Let’s do this! He helps me understand the movement that I should be doing. Damn, this  down dog is hard! This flexibility is killing me! I hear Stef’s voice in my head: “Too much flexibility!”

Practice, practice, practice! All is coming, Lavinia!

I’m focused. At the end of Sun Salutation B – I was into it. Focused on my breathing, on my postures. I feel the heat. I start to sweat. I love it! So happy to be here!

Ujjaiy is starting to flow. Almost effortless. My mind is calm.

One asana after another. I feel I’m floating! I feel happy! I love Ashtanga!

I think I will be stopped or do the modification for Marichyasana D. I do the modification with the foot close to the groin not the half lotus. I feel bad, because I shouldn’t maybe be doing that in a traditional class.

I tried to do Marichyasana D once at home and my ankle didn’t like it. My brain freaked out. So I try the modified version. I finish both sides when Tobias comes and asks me to try the posture again together – with half lotus. I say OK. I trust him, but I tell him this pose is really scary for me. He shows me how to place my foot and prepare for the twisting part. I trust him. I place my foot in half lotus, then he helps me to prepare my shoulder for twisting, I grab my wrist. Here we are! In Marichyasana D! No pain! My first Marichyasana D 🙂 Still needs improvements, but I managed to do the posture with my previously sprained ankle and NO pain! 🙂

My 5 Navasana were shaky today. I stayed there despite the shaking.

I continue with the rest of the series. Kurmasana feels excellent! Supta Kurmasana – I would have loved to be assisted in that one 🙂

I continue.

I forget about Upavista Konasana. Damn! that’s a shame. It’s too late to go back. I continue.

Get to backbend. I ask Tobias if I can do the variation of Bridge in which I hold my ankles. I don’t understand the Ashtanga version of bridge pose. And it’s so scary! I do the bridge, then I move to Wheel. I do it twice. I feel my heart beats. My quads are burning. Then he comes and we try it together. It looks like I have to do the wheel 3 times – Ashtanga way. And here we go – he’s showing me how to rotate my shoulders again and use my shoulder blades in this pose. Oh boy, this is hard! It changes the notion of the pose. I feel my legs shaking. Quads are on fire. I feel slightly scared of this internal rotation of the shoulders, but so happy. So happy! 🙂

I get to finishing asanas. Headstand – I am shaking, but I do it without being afraid that I might fall on the person sitting next to me. I trust myself that I can do it without killing the neighbor. I don’t manage to take my legs at 90 degrees and do Urdhva Dandasana. I try once more. This time I can do it. I feel weak. I am trying to find my strength. I lift the shoulders more. I am shaking. I feel happy that I didn’t quit 🙂

Moving forward to the next asanas.

Got to the last asana. I hold Utpluthi.

Unfortunately, I don’t get time for Savasana today. It’s already closing mantra.

I feel happy! There is a special energy in the room. People are smiling. Sending positive vibes. I feel that yoga is starting for me.

We go have breakfast and a chat.

I leave the studio happy that I chose to spend this Saturday morning with these wonderful people and my first Ashtanga Mysore practice.

Tusen tack Tobias & Cecilia! Ni är underbara!



© Unfold Your Mat 2016

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