Favorite / Least Favorite Aspect of Vinyasa & Ashtanga

Jennifer: I love and hate the same thing about Ashtanga – the fact that it is the same thing every day! It is like looking in a mirror, which is often hard. On the flip side, it is beautifully melodic, the Ashtanga practice, in its complete (even in crazy asanas!) meditative quality. I love the vinyasa system for its vibrance, creativity, and beauty. I dislike the vinyasa system when it is poorly taught (no at Balance!) and sequences that make no sense are put together, often leading to strain or injury.

Marsha: My favorite part of Ashtanga is how the familiarity of the sequence allows me to observe my mental state and to notice when my perception is clouded by drama, judgement, absent mindedness, and anything else that creeps in. At that point, I return to the basics: posture, breath, and drishti to quiet and focus my mind. My least favorite part of Ashtanga is the seemingly unending search for enough. Since there are 6 series, there can be a feeling of needing to conquer each pose. My favorite part of vinyasa is the variety of postures. I LOVE all the hip openers and the creative linking of postures. The freedom from sticking to a series can be exciting and freeing. My least favorite part is the variety of postures. Not knowing what is coming next makes it difficult to pace myself and to get into deep concentration.

Kathy: My favorite part of Ashtanga is the repetition. When you are doing the same thing every day it allows for a lot of self exploration and personal research. There is also a comfort in it, the knowing what to expect. If I stay open I can learn something new everyday and that, to me, is very exciting! My least favorite part is the sense of competition that I can begin to feel with myself. Sometimes I find myself wishing that this practice felt like the last one instead of being present. It is hard for me to say what my favorite and least favorite part of vinyasa because I haven’t done it enough to really know. I do like the music, the variety of postures, and being led.

Rebecca: My favorite part of the practice is that everyday has something new to offer.

Jackie: My favorite thing about vinyasa is the dance. The creative flow that changes with each class but also forces me to stay completely present with my breathing. I also love that it can be powerful or restorative. My least favorite thing about Ashtanga is the repetition. The structure of Ashtanga has always been difficult for me. However, I have been drawn to the routine lately. I am finding Ashtanga to be grounding when life is pulling me in a billion different directions.

Joanne: Truly, there is nothing about Ashtanga / Vinyasa that I don’t like or even love, except that it is really hard and I am sometimes lazy. But I know that when I practice, especially at Balance, I will be with people who share my love for the yoga and gratitude for its gifts. I am thankful everyday for what I can do so I just keep showing up. I am always glad I did!