23 Years of Ashtanga Yoga Practice

by Jun 17, 2015

I attended my very first yoga class at the Wainui Beach Tennis club rooms in 1992. I cannot credit that it was that long ago, because my practice still feels fresh to me. It still feels raw, with lots of rough edges. The beauty of this is that it still excites me. I feel as if I have so much more to learn. There are still areas in my body where the energy is sluggish or blocked. Fortunately, I also feel that I still have at least 30 more years of practice ahead of my. Lots of time to practice, practice, practice.

My yoga practice some times brings to mind the beach my mother lives near. Ohope Beach is a beautiful, long stretch of sand. Near the spot on the beach closest to my mum’s there is an old tree stump that pokes up out of the sand. Sometimes, barely 30 cms of it will project and sometimes, due to the effect of tides and waves, more than a metre will show above the sand.

When this happens there is space around the stump and a large pool of water persists even when the tide recedes. At some times of the year there are people on the beach every day. Children play on the stump and in the pool around it, if it is large enough. At other times of the year there are only the hardy locals walking the beach, or jogging or exercising their dogs and they barely notice the stump as it is so much just a part of their surrounding. The dogs notice it though, and they do what dogs do on stumps.

To these people who regularly walk up and down the beach the stump looks as if it never changes. And yet, the effect of wind and sand and rain are slowly smoothing it off. It’s rough edges are being worn away. It’s body is gradually being integrated into the beach itself. Eventually the stump will be worn completely away and will exist only as part of the beach itself.

Today, this is what my practice feels like. Tomorrow, who knows?

Recent posts 

From the archives

Mike’s Trip to Cambodia

I was going to write a blog about my trip to Cambodia at the end of Sept. and early Oct. but...

Want to Start Ashtanga Yoga? – A Word of Warning

In the more than 20 years that I have been practising Ashtanga Yoga its popularity around the...

“Mysore Style” Ashtanga Yoga — The Art of Observation.

I have been thinking lately about the reasons that I so prefer practicing and teaching in the...

Vande Gurunam Caranaravinde

I had an interesting conversation the other day with a dedicated yoga practitioner and teacher who...

The Un-Learning of Yoga

Yoga is unlike any other study in that learning more about Yoga doesn't necessarily make you...

1 Comment

  1. Darleen

    All I can see is…that stump is so vivid alive in my mind and heart right now. What a beautiful thing.
    Thanks Mike.