Ashtanga 11

Back in college, the basic of all basics was not coded ‘101’, like how all ‘basic’ things are now called (Yoga 101, Blogging 101, etc.); it’s 11. Econ 11, Math 11, Philo 11….

Now on Ashtanga 11. The basic of all basics is eating my humble pie. I was not at all attracted to ashtanga. Sure I admired the flying ashtangis but never intended to do their stints in this lifetime or the next. I was happy and content with flow yoga. Once I told myself that of all the studios in Manila, I would not set foot on YM, more popularly known for ashtanga. First, because I didn’t like ashtanga. Second, their shalas were not commuter-friendly (yup, location matters to professional commuters like me). Third, ashtanga is the “athletic” form of yoga. Not me. I couldn’t even catch a ball. Finally, er, did I say I didn’t like ashtanga?

Then YM moved to a new, lovelier, commuter-friendlier location. And if you are following my blog, you’ll see that my “conversion”, so subtle it has been, started early last year. It culminated to YT finally telling me “I think the biggest obstacle is your thinking that you are not for ashtanga.”  Thanks YT. So here I am now, enrolled in YM, doing what else—ashtanga. Gulp.

As a newbie, I have learned a couple of things. One, YT does not know how to count!


YT: Eight breaths….

My thought bubble: Inhale, exhale, 1,…. Inhale, exhale, 2,…., Inhale, exhale, 8!

YT: One….

My thought bubble: Duh?! Did you start with -8?



YT: …5…6…7… (after a minute)…2 

My thought bubble: Teacher, 8 comes after 7.



YT: 1…

My thought bubble:  …2…3…4…5…6…7….25…26…27…zzzzzzz 

YT: …2…


I also learned how a body part could “open”. In my more than two years of practice, this is the first time I experience having a numb-y, swell-y, tingly, no-pain, but funny feeling in my knees. I poked every part of my knees, yes, all parts were intact. I don’t remember doing unusual pose that could have caused such sensation. YT said they’re just “opening.” Ooh, interesting. A couple of days later, my ankles started to “open” as well.

However, I notice that my left knee has more intense sensation of opening. That makes me wonder. I have long been complaining about my right leg being twisted, crooked, very asymmetrical with my left. Now that my left knee is reacting this way, could it be that it is my left leg that has been misaligned all this time? And why are my knees and ankles opening, both of which are related to the first chakra (or so I was told)?



4 thoughts on “Ashtanga 11

  1. By the way, I also learned that the primary series is also known as Yoga Chikitsa, meaning Yoga Therapy, i.e., for the cleansing, healing and realignment the body.


  2. Love love love Ashtanga… 🙂 I just need to practice more often hehehe.

    Hey Chons, we’re going out to lunch in Shang after class this Saturday. You game?

    See you then!

  3. I believe in “enemy poses”, you know, those poses you hate doing but apparently need the most. By the same virtue, maybe there is also an “enemy yoga style?” 😉

    Or maybe, flow is my Davao, ashtanga is my Bacolod. Anlabo! I’ll try to locate in which blog I wrote about these two cities that are special to me. Well, in a gist, Davao is my “love at first sight (seeing?)” while my love for Bacolod is something that has grown over time.

    Thanks for the invitation! Let’s see on Saturday. I could be there to watch you guys eat, as I have a 2pm yoga class. Ashtanga 😉

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