5 Reasons to Be Thankful for Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga yoga changed my life for the better. The amount of growth I've experienced since I switched to Ashtanga blows my mind. It's my passion, my friend, my teacher, and my foundation. It's about to be Thanksgiving and all I can think about for my post today is how very thankful I am for the practice--as well as my teachers, my fellow practitioners (and awesome blog-mates!), and Sharath and Pattabhi Jois for holding the tradition.
Beyond that, here are 5 specific reasons I'm grateful for Ashtanga yoga :)
1. Tight-knit, supportive community. In my experience, the community of Ashtangis is incredibly warm and supportive. I have felt this at every single shala I’ve gone to, from both the teachers and the students. And I know the girls at Finding Isvara have been delighted by how encouraging those we look up to in the online community (like Peg Mulqueen and Taylor Hunt) have been for our blogging venture. Not to mention our readers! We really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read what we post and interact with us by leaving comments and messages. We feel the love!
2. A sincere desire to be inclusive and foster growth. I have yet to meet an AY teacher who does not have a sincere desire to aid the growth of anyone seeking it, regardless of age, gender, race, infirmity, situation in life, etc. To me, that is what yoga is about and I hope everyone knows this about our community; it’s a safe place to go where you'll be greeted with care and respect.
3. The framework it provides. The tradition of the asana practice gives us a framework of getting on our mat every day and working through a particular sequence as we are able. It teaches us discipline and dedication, and it gives us a stable foundation from which we can grow. Furthermore, study of the full eight limbs of Patanjali yoga gives us a sound framework from which we can approach life if we so choose.
4. Healthfulness. The asana practice purifies the body and gives us strength and mobility. It has a way of making us consider what we are putting in our bodies and the time we get to bed. When the body is healthy and balanced, we are much more likely to feel the same in our minds. This is such a valuable, incredible gift not only for the individual, but for families and communities as well. Yoga makes the individual more peaceful which in turn creates a more peaceful world.
5. Transformation. Any of us with a dedicated practice know that yoga has a way of bringing our unique “issues” to the forefront. If we want to keep going, we must meet these head on and work through them. This causes inevitable personal growth. It’s not always easy or pleasant, but the end result is a happier life.
I am so thankful for the way Ashtanga yoga has changed my life for the better. As a teacher, I am also thankful to foster the growth of others with the powerful tool of yoga. What are you thankful for in your practice?
Much Love and Happy Thanksgiving!