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July 17, 2010 / Gabriel Azoulay

Magical count

This practice is so incredible, founded on the most simple principles.

If you ever discover anyone that suggests that this is too hard of a yoga practice, you have my permission to laugh in their face.

There is an image out there that Ashtanga Yoga is challenging, too demanding, will cause you injuries, and many other reactions. To react is to fall into stress mode of relating to the world, where responding is accepting the world as it is and enjoying every moment.

Ashtanga is demanding, as any Yoga practice should be. How demanding? Every day! and you get Saturday and Moon days off, so it’s not that bad.

The postures themselves, well, you might only do Suryanamakar A. The practice itself, remember, is simple. Based on very simple principles. Breath, Drishti, and Bandhas. Keep those for your entire practice period, and learn how to tap into these principles at any other time in the day.

Listen to the count, why? because you learn how to listen to a higher force, the force of your breath. To stop listening to your own mind, your own ego, that truly wants to satisfy its own fears, rather than allow you to bask in the purity of Joy that is your being.

Surrender to Guruji and the rest will follow.

Note how on this excerpt from the DVD, Guruji starts the count and the advanced practitioners follow with their breath until Guruji calls out the next breath. When you are “led” in a series, you develop the skill of listening, understanding where the breath goes and which movement follows with the breath, so that for the rest of the week you can practice to discover how easily your mind will throw you off.

The postures themselves are not important (they have significance of course, but not important), do the best you can, but do it with awareness, with complete breath consciousness, with enthusiasm and faith that all is possible.

“Tapas, Savdhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhanani Kriya Yoga” is how Patanjali starts his second Pada – enthusiasm, awareness through following the footsteps of those who walked this path, and faith in something larger than yourself, is Yoga in Action.

Meditate on that as you get up in the morning (though you can do practice any time of the day you like….practice….that’s all that matters. Practice, and all is coming).


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