Welcome to Ashtanga Yoga

Today’s Mantra: Listen to your inner Yogi

yoga <3

Ok, so a bowl of spaghetti bolognese and a glass of red wine an hour before starting a new Yoga class wasn’t smart. But I’d never given much serious thought to the fact that my best friend, Bec and I had signed up to an Ashtanga for beginners class.

I know now that if you have to take a beginners class, then the yoga might be hard.

We’d missed four classes out of the twelve we’d signed up for already due to concerts, holidays and the weather but we thought we should be fine. We walked into the class and it was a great space, wood floors, heaps of room and it was spotless. Unfortunately we could see all of this because there were only six other people in the class.

Not a smile in sight.

The instructor was soft spoken and very, very serious. There wasn’t a lot of joy in that room.

There was no lovely relaxation beforehand. No one was even lying down. Everyone was sitting up, straight backed. Not talking.

We started with a few sun salutations. Then a few more. With five breaths each time in downward dog. Within the first ten minutes I was dizzy and sick from being upside down and then flipped up again in quick succession. I had to sit out most of the start.

The instructor said it might be low blood pressure. I’m not so sure. It was the same way I feel on a ride that flips you upside down…a lot.

The rest of the class went ok and then it slowed right down when he was teaching us preparation for backbend and shoulder stand. I felt slightly better but not great. The relaxation at the end was a relief but I didn’t get that usual rush of Happy afterwards.

Can’t say I’m looking forward to the next class.

So I have fashioned a mantra for the next time I am tempted to sign up to a new Yoga class….Hatha Yoga is for me. Hatha Yoga is for me.


  1. I still get sick from going upside down in yoga – not sure what it is but ever since I had my first baby…nausea! That’s why I like Bikram…it’s tough but no hanging around upside down…

  2. Well, it’s a drag you felt terrible in the class, but do consider that the wine and spaghetti may have had something to do with how you felt! Some gentle advice: practice yoga, especially Ashtanga, ideally on an empty stomach – even an empty digestive tract! – and be well-hydrated, too. Before you go to the next class, make sure you don’t eat anything at least two hours before. Finish drinking your water at least an hour before (it sucks when you have to pee mid-class.) You will most likely feel better.

    Make sure to breath, fully and deeply. That helps with dizziness, too.

    Ashtanga is very traditional, and can be intimidating, especially if your teacher/fellow students think that super-serious faces means they are seriously “doing yoga.” (That yogier than thou attitude is kind of a bummer, I know.) But, Ashtanga is a very, very rewarding yoga practice, and will bring great health, vitality and mental and emotional well being to you. Repetition is the key. Persevere and go regularly. (Skipping the first four classes made you miss perhaps some vital info, too.)

    Ashtanga’s not one of the yogas that tends to bolster your ego with affirmations of how truly luminous and wonderful you are. It doesn’t try to bring attention to “finding your bliss” or “opening to grace” which is, frankly, new age feel-good mumbo jumbo and ultimately marketing to keep people coming back. When taught traditionally, Ashtanga is breathing combined with rejuvenating and healing postures, and development of concentration. Under the eye of a good, compassionate teacher, it will bring to you what you most need in your life. But, like anything, without effort, there is no benefit.

    1. I am determined to try again and hopefully it will be better. Now I have a clearer head (literally) the rest of the class wasn’t bad it was just the whipping upside down that got me out of sorts. My girlfriend and I are going together so we’ll just make it fun. Whether they still keep their serious yoga faces on or not! In over 10 years of yoga it was a shock to get a class like that.

Leave a Reply