Patience - What I Love About Ashtanga Yoga

I must have had at least 1,200 full 2-hour practices since I started attempts at dropping backwards from standing onto the floor, and I am still working at it.  But what is more important, it has been over 40 years since my mind started leading me to believe that I am what I think, which is not the case at all.

When I first started practicing Ashtanga yoga -exclusively- I would rush through the asanas, I wanted to get to something, somewhere, don't know where really, I just thought I had to push through, breathe hard, get in the poses. I  Guess "thought" was the key word.

What was I thinking?

It took a very, very long time to slow down.

Maybe Sharath drilling it into our heads "Why you hurry? You hungry"? helped bring the point home. Or when he says the practice has rhythm, it is like chanting sacred texts. It cannot be hurried.

These days I am taking my time in practice and it feels good.  When I find myself wondering around, maybe checking who is 'better than me' I pray that I be shown the spiritual side of asanas, how I am really NOT what I am comparing to, or whatever my mind is telling me it wants to think about it.

Standing up from a fake kapotasana on the day before the last moon -rest day- knowing full well it might take years, I am humbled again into accepting what IS. A new pose, a challenging new beginning that pushes me to new levels within the  confines of my own body, which never allows space for delusions.

The body keeps it real.


The system of Ashtanga is definitely designed for patience and surrendering. It is not for nothing that yoga sutra I-14 says that the practice becomes established by being continued over a long time with reverence and without interruption.

And a long time is a long time.



  1. I love this one Claudia!...especially this: "And a long time is a long time." :)

    Here's my blog for re-adding to your blogroll:

    Thanks for including me!

  2. Christine, thank you for letting me know about the blog, of course! will add now. And you know it, long is looooong indeed :-)

  3. Great post, Claudia. It is so true that there is really no reason to rush through the practice, no place to get to.

    But I am curious: What is a "fake kapotasana"?

  4. Hi Nobel, good to hear fromyou. Tried responding a couple if times but guess the connection is not so good.... Fake kapotasana is as close to a description I can come up with as I try the first sketches... It does not feel or probably look good at all, then again who is watching right... On a brighter note.... Laghu seems to be taking shapen there is hope....

  5. hi Claudia ~
    thank You for sharing .. i was inspired by turtles today too -->

  6. Claudia,

    I just am catching up on your blog. As always it is a great read and helps me understand much of what is spinning in my head. I love this list of gratitude. I number one thing that I am grateful for (about Ashtanga Yoga) is is a method, a way of doing, that has deep roots and isn't (like the student) pulled by preference.

  7. Thanks Kara!

    Citymouse than you. I love that as well!


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