Halasana variation, June 2020

An intensive yoga week came to an end this morning. I practiced 2 hours almost every day. I know too many asanas and variation that I want to exercise. Splits are always part of my program, but also back bending.

The pandemic forced me to practice again alone. I miss the other yogini. Yet the lock down was also an opportunity for me. I see my own responsibility for my practice. I adjust the Ashtanga Yoga series to my needs, skills and possibilities. Being an autodidact doesn’t mean to rely on oneself only. So many yoga practitioner have created and published useful videos. There are books to read. I’m a member of Omstars and get a lot of tips and tricks from the teacher on Kino’s TV.

The yoga community is so strong with so much knowledge. What a gift.

First we learn from others mainly. The longer we practice the more we become our own teacher.

Despite intensive practices it’s not guaranteed that progress comes quickly. Patience is required. One must find joy in the daily discomfort. It sounds like a paradox. Stretching and strength training come with unpleasant feelings. Not being able to master the vinyasa after more than a decade of practicing is frustrating. The practice gives the opportunity to face these challenges and to find solutions. Deep breathing helps to stand the discomfort, i.e.. Finding extra exercise might be a solution for challenging asanas. Observing the feelings that come and go helps to stay relaxed. What is practiced on the mat, is often useful in daily life, too.

Enjoy a rest day.

How do the masters do it?

Sputa hasta padangusthasana, January 2021

Sputa hasta padangusthasana, January 2021

To be a student of yoga and the same time the own teacher can be a challenge. It’s not possible to see oneself from the outside. Picture allow this and it’s worth using this tool. Often one can realize rather fast what needs to get improved. Some tinier things like thumbs who point in the air can be corrected at once. One can discover next steps to improve a pose.

By chance I flipped through the book by B.K.S. Iyengar yesterday. I saw him performing supta hasta padangusthasana. Wow. I know that this pose is challenging. I realized that I avoid the pose.

  1. I obviously tend to move my elbow away from the body. This is something that I could correct easily.

  2. Both legs are stretched. Als the arm that lies on the thigh is stretched. This gives body tension.

  3. When taking care of these things it becomes suddenly a challenge to lift up the body. I couldn’t reach the shin with my chin anymore. My abdomen are too weak. This pose strengthens the abdomen.

The posture on the picture looks so much better than my first attempts.

It’s a very effective method to take pictures of asanas. It goes a step further if one compares these pictures with the asanas of the masters.

As an autodidact or home practitioner one must learn how to learn.

A daily practice is only the beginning…….

Plans for this blog


I’ve plans for this blog:

  • In January I’d like to focus on forward bending asanas.

  • In February the vinyasa shall be the focus. When practicing Ashtanga the connection between the asanas are an important topic. And they are challenging.

  • In March urdhva dhanurasana - back bending shall be the focus.

If you’ve ideas or wishes for months to come, please let me know.

How to learn asanas and movements is always a topic. The correct method helps to avoid injuries. The method can help to speed up a process or it can slow down a process.

Headstand is always a good example: If taught correctly with an approved method it can be learned in 30 minutes. On the other hand I know people who are struggling for years with this asana and are convinced that they’ll never learn this classic inversion.

Forward bending asanas stretch the entire body. Stretching can be done effectively.

The first Ashtanga yoga series focuses on forward bending asanas. I think t’s a good start.

It’s the time between the years, how we call the time between Christmas and New Year. Many people have vacation. It’s lock down due to Covid-19. I walk around a lot. The low temperatures are refreshing.