At the beginning of August I began my 300 hour Rocket Yoga teacher training. I knew the first section of training would be ashtanga and I knew I was dreading it. I don’t like feeling stifled with set sequences and I hate feeling exhausted and I’ve never been able to commit to a full daily practice so mysore seemed beyond any possible success. The first weekend was brutal. Double practice daily and all primary. The first week I only made it to practice three of the five times. Then we got tossed into second series, which is never done in total. I felt insane. High on yoga, weak in my body, poses that I breeze through felt like WORK. I took the following Tuesday off but then I came back. Just that one day off and my body was already craving movement.

Then something amazing started to happen, I started to get into things I’d never thought I’d be able to do so soon. Kapotasana? Karandavasana? Adho Mukha Vrksasana? Actually finding some consistent float? I couldn’t quite believe it (and still kind of can’t, I mean I literally couldn’t touch my toes in high school) and then I started looking forward to it. The early mornings, the way I feel less like I’m choking on my breath in backbends, it starts to feel like flying.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days where it’s sun sals and breath work, but without noticing it I’ve gotten a daily self practice. One that I’ll always treasure. I’ll still go take a flow class, after all I do love changing sequences, and I will always be ready for a rocket class, but ashtanga has given me a new appreciation for noticing the subtle shifts, the minute changes that you really only see when the poses are the ‘same’ every day. Once that feeling opens it’s easier to realize that the poses are never the same and the opportunity to check in is always there.


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