I am an ashtangi. I don’t really like any personal labels but this is what I am. I do ashtanga yoga everyday and my life revolves around it. What does it mean to be an ashtangi?
Ashtanga Yoga holds the key to rediscovering yourself. In time, this practice helps you in your everyday life. You quickly understand that you don’t have a control of your life. The ways you react to challenges and handle situations begins to change, as you start to see that you cannot get hold on anything.
To be an ashtangi means to be an outsider, a kind of a rebellion. Ashtanga Yoga takes you out of the mainstream. By being an ashtangi you start having an alternative and mindful way of living. It is not just about lululemon pants, not even chanting or meditating for peace, or quitting your job to be a yoga teacher or saving bees or wales or the Earth itself.
Ashtangis are those who stay in the world, doing the same thing as before, working hard, having drinks, raising children… about those who do yoga everyday and the deeper they dive into the practice, the more questions they dissolve. They simply see that nothing has an intrinsic meaning. Not even the practice itself. But they doing it anyway what a hell.
To be an ashtangi means to go against the status quo of what you think we should look like, or should do with your life. You rebel against the accepted norms and against what your family may have expected you to do with yourself and your career. Your daily practice gives you the ability to stay true to your own path.
Daily practice develops a detached awareness so you as an observer of the mind is strengthen over time. You begin to understand and accept that your thoughts really create your reality. But that realization does not mean anything either, you notice that it is easy to fall back into the habit of projection into the future with anxiety which can lead you to depression.
By continuing going to the mat and breathing five breaths in each pose, brings your attention to the present moment. You start to notice the present, and while breathing in a difficult pose there is freedom to be yourself. That is realization that the present moment is not different than your own self. You cut the limiting beliefs about yourself that hold you back from your dreams, because you come to realize that you are nothing of what you thinking to be.
That is the connection to the self that you have forgotten it. But yoga is a direct line back to that union. « Yoga » means union and now you understand with what. Your self is your best friend who many of you may have forgotten.
You can have no friends and be lonely, and turn to neediness on your wife, kids or lover. But in coming home to your self through yoga, you realize each and every time that you are indeed free and enough as is. You become so confident in your solitude. This epiphany that makes you aware of the fact that your self is all you’ve really got in this world and that realization will give you knowledge how to handle your outside relationships and be a good partner.
To be an ashtangi is to have a shiny eyes that are smiling on mundane life. That freedom is a gift of ashtanga yoga to you. Your good fortune may have happened by luck or chance but the shiny eyes make the abundance of opportunities.
You are not obsessed over what you do not have, what you have not accomplished, and how you will not be happy nor complete nor fulfilled until you meet your soulmate. You stop comparing yourself to the status, success, fame or celebrity of others, instead you enjoy peaceful knowledge of your own self. And you practice ashtanga yoga.