Sunday, October 30, 2011


Ashtanga yoga makes me tired. It should be making you tired as well, or you're missing something. When I first experimented with Ashtanga using some David Swenson photocopies, it didn't make me tired. At all. And, it turned out I was missing something: the vinyasas :-/

Since then, as a student and teacher, I have seen "Ashtanga yoga tired", which comes in many, many forms. Here is an illustrative, though not exhaustive list:

Pregame tired: The yoga bag feels heavier than it should and rolling out the mat is really, well, quite a lot of work.

Panic tired: It's the first jumpback and the arms tremble and groan. You just make it back to Downdog. Blankly staring at the ankles, a cold sweat breaks out.  89 more minutes?!? I've made a huge mistake.

Utthita Hasta tired: Nah, you're not tired, that one's just hard. (see "Navasana tired")

Eyerolling tired: Puh-lease.

Pleading tired: It's just that I carried a lot of groceries two days ago, and I think my arms are still tired. That's why I'm so exhausted, see, and…oh, ok…we're…jumping…back again…

Angry tired: Usually starts with the evil/stink eye, and perhaps some Ujjayi that sounds a lot like pouty sighing. May progress to internal talk: On my life, yoga teacher, I will get even for this. *personal favorite*

Optimistic tired: Usually occurs around the Marichis: Hey, we're almost there!

Navasana tired: Oh, right, I forgot.

Backbending/Handstand/etc tired: Like driving around the lawnmower in the autumn until it dies, you  burn up every last bit of fuel. Usually the teacher helps. You think fondly back to Navasana and how spritely you felt.

Closing Matra tired: What—are—the—words to this?—something something Om something something

"Take rest" tired: zzzZZZZZzzzz…

Bliss tired: The perfected state of tired, it's that afterglow that follows you around after practice. You may not be able to raise your arms above your shoulders, but you can't stop smiling. Also known as "wrecked," "cooked," and "ruined."

As long as you are putting some energy into anger, optimism, panic, or any other sort of reaction, it's not all going into the practice, which means your probably not tired enough yet. But you will be…

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