i had bought my two week unlimited pass for yoga works in orange county and was dabbling with all kinds of yoga at the costa mesa and huntington beach studios. i tried iyengar (twice!), some vinyasa flows, a restorative, kundalini (multiple times, but i just couldn't hack it!) and finally, the last class i decided to try before my trial pass was up was an ashtanga led primary class taught by suzy gill. since the name ashtanga was something i had never heard of, i decided to do a little research before heading over to costa mesa to try it at 7am on a sunday. i found videos on you tube but not a whole lot of information on what i would be getting myself into.
i remember going into the room. suzy gill was practicing on the mat next to me. i kind of had a feeling she was the teacher, but i wasn't sure. there were fresh flowers in the room, some candles. a very nice atmosphere to practice yoga. the room filled up with a ton of people. i really didn't know what i was getting myself into. suzy counted in sanskrit and it resonated in me. even though i didn't know all the names of the poses, many of them were familiar once i was in them. i looked across the room at people when i didn't know what bhujapidasana was. the led class was hard, but i could handle it. for some reason i decided that this was it. this was the yogasana that i had been looking for. i had been on a asana journey for a few years. dabbling in hatha, obsessing in bikram, trying a fake bikram and finally making my way to yoga works and finding ashtanga. i'm glad it was the last class i tried there because i knew that i had tried every kind of yoga there was... and ashtanga was it.
i don't remember much else about my first class. but i do remember wanting to go back and do it again. i kept taking led classes on saturdays (with rachel) and sundays (with suzy) while doing my work study with yoga works huntington beach. i learned a lot from both of these women. rachel held me up in my first headstand. suzy would come over and make sure i wasn't causing any trouble on the mat. i still remember her telling me to put my palm down on the ground and relax my head in ardha baddha padmottanasana.
i remember seeing mysore listed on the website, but not fully understanding what it was. i did a little research and decided i couldn't do mysore style because i hadn't memorized the sequence. i also was scared out of my mind. i do regret not starting mysore earlier, but i found an amazing studio here in philly and have an awesome teacher who started me on a fantastic mysore journey.
it's been a year since i found ashtanga and i wanted to thank everyone who has influenced me, or taught me, or listened to me talk about asana and what not.
i also had a tradition of buying a pineapple on fridays, cutting it up, putting it into tupperware and into the fridge. it was my yoga pineapple. i would eat it after led classes on the weekend. it's been a while since the pineapple, so i bought some cut up pineapple tonight to celebrate my journey.
happy 1 year ashtanga!