My obsession with yoga started before I discovered Ashtanga Yoga. After the birth of my first child, my body had gained a few extra pounds and my hormones were out of balance, I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My first thought to correct this was yoga because of my mum’s books on her book shelf of this beautiful lady in a full body green leotard, a yoga goddess of the seventies. Being shy but also quite a self motivated person, I purchased several yoga workout videos. I remember just throwing myself into these and feeling the benefits in my body and mind very quickly. I became known in my friends circle as the yoga video queen.
My close friend Aileen, was also following her own yoga journey by going to Ashtanga classes on a weekly basis, knowing my passion for yoga she showed me the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, I fell in love straight away & guess what? I bought a video, but this was no ordinary video, this was David Swenson showing me the primary series. David Swenson is one of the worlds top Ashtanga Yoga practitioners, he studied with Sri Pattabhi Jois, who brought Ashtanga to the west. I also bought the practice manual and the T shirt.
I think the main reason I love Ashtanga is the potential for self practice and quick advancement in the primary series just by being on the mat on a regular basis. The beauty of a self practice is that you can fit yoga into your day when it’s convenient for you. The practice manual by David Swenson is great, as it has suggests short forms for 15, 30 or 45 minutes if you don’t have the time for the full primary series sequence.
The Primary Series starts by practicing Sun Salutations, Surya Namaskara A and B, five times each.
I have been to many Ashtanga classes and the teachers all say if you don’t have time for anything else at least practice the Sun Salutations every day. I have tried to stick by this advice and even though I might not feel like doing anything when I’m tired or had a big day, doing this vinyasa flow of the sun salutes always makes me feel more energised, fresher, stronger, calmer and I think they have given me more stamina in everyday situations.
Sun Salutations have been practiced for thousands of years to honour the life force of the sun. They are a warm up for the body plus a full body work out and a moving meditation to prepare for the rest of your practice. The benefits are many, every part of the body is moved and strengthened, the digestive and circulatory systems are improved, you’re mind becomes calm and your intuition and focus is strengthened.
I will be uploading a video shortly to demonstrate Surya Namaskara A and B, with modifications for beginners, so keep in touch with Yoga One to One for this exciting life changing yoga practice.