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  • Ashtanga Yoga Plymouth

I wasn’t always strong.....

I wasn’t always strong.

As I hit my 40s, despite lots of running, a bit of weight training, various fitness classes, I was developing middle aged spread and becoming ‘bloated‘, so much so that a colleague asked another colleague (my hubby!) if I was pregnant!! In addition, the stress of combining a new full time maths teaching role, after having been part time for a few years, with the demands of caring for a learning disabled daughter, I think was a contributory cause of developing pneumonia which evolved to pleurisy, leaving a residue in my lungs for several months. I also herniated(slipped) a disc which my physio said was due to my core not being strong enough to support my back turned out all that exercise I was doing wasn’t strengthening my core very effectively at all....

And then I discovered Ashtanga Yoga and it literally changed my life! It didn’t happen over night. But now, well into my fifties after years of dedicated practice, I’m stronger, fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been. And still progressing....finding the full primary series very comfortable after many years, I’m now working my way through the hugely challenging Intermediate series (which includes pincha mayurasana)

I’ve been very lucky to have been taught by many wonderful World renowned teachers. While it’s amazing to have been taught by Sharath Jois, paramaguru of Ashtanga, I’ve also learnt so much from some of the awesome older teachers who were first taught by Patthabhi Jois when he started teaching westerners and have since had a life long practice, maybe sometimes blighted by injury or just age! For instance, David Swenson and his advice to be as relaxed as possible, suggesting moving like a cat - they engage the absolute minimum number of muscles necessary to support a movement - the second a muscle is no longer necessary it's relaxed; lesser known Hugh Poulton, who taught me so much about bandha; the huge belief in the ‘softening’ of the practice with Kino mcgregor, Kathy Cooper, and Ryan Spielman, and so on.....What all these amazing teachers have in common is the belief in using the practice as a 'life tool' to help cope with the chaos of life, without rules and rigidity, using modifications as necessary to make it accessible, and just enjoying the journey....remembering we’ve got years ahead of us still and plenty of time, there’s never any’s a lifelong practice 😊

So I’m putting ashtanga yoga away for my physical pension. I’m storing some quiet joy in my muscles for later, building up that pot of ease and glee, and underwriting my spine....

Getting older makes us younger as the older we are the more ashtanga we’ll have done and the better we will feel 😉👌💫🙏

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