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As Pattabhi Jois said “Do your practice and all is coming.”

And in the case of Ashtanga practice this is most certainly true.

ashtanga practice

The Ashtanga Practice

One of the oldest purest forms of Yoga – with set sequences which never alter.

The starting point aptly named the Primary Series, takes years to hone and really know. Repeating it over and over again brings stability and awareness to the body. You see progression, and how things once felt so impossible, are now a little closer in reach. Every single time you come to the mat, it’s a new experience, even after hundreds of down dogs and the like. One day there may be the sensation of ease and lightness, the next a heavy sluggish body to contend with. Guaranteed there’s always something to work with, or on.

Once the asanas have entered into the body’s cellular memory through familiarity, the other layers of the Ashtanga practice naturally unfold in their own time. Correct rhythmical breathing takes you from posture to posture, the holding of dristhi, and the locking of bandhas, finally lead to peace through moving meditation. Personally, even after years of practice, it still feels like a work in progress. Something to marvel over, laugh at, or get frustrated with. Such is the beauty of the Ashtanga practice, always revealing itself to you.

ashtanga practice

In life there are times when you just don’t want to do, or face something even though deep down you know you ought to. Yoga and in particular the Ashtanga practice, is no different. It demands patience, discipline and dedication to keep going regardless of internal or external distractions. The gauge is how you feel at the end of the practice in comparison to the start. That sense of achievement, gratitude and reverence to yoga and its creators. Knowing you CAN put aside all challenges to focus on yourself, no matter what.

I believe the Ashtanga practice to be an intelligent and complete form. On the mat it requires total mental focus on breath and movement. Off the mat, it asks me to become more conscious and reflective of my behaviour and relationship, toward oneself and others. The Ashtanga practice purifies my blood, emotions, spirit and is a source of support and strength in every day life.

I am so grateful to know this practice. I am indebted to those generous teachers who have inspired me through their own practice. Showing me how to make the necessary changes, for my own evolution and growth.

Author: Nicole Alexander


Nicole has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for over 10 years. Her dedication to the practice and ongoing study is inspiring. She currently teaches at Phoenix Yoga Studios, and is a Wellness Practitioner in Ayurveda and Shiatsu.

More About Nicole

Come try Ashtanga if you haven’t before. Let curiosity get the better of you – you won’t be disappointed. It’s not difficult, but does ask for your devotion and all is coming!!

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