The attention to detail in my classes can be new to some people. If you read my earlier post on meditation, Inviting a Meditative State, you’ll read that meditation often starts by focusing on something concrete (such as an object or action). The details of the yoga practice is that something: “gaze over your nose, keep your inhales and exhales of equal length, keep your chin tucked, keep your face relaxed”…etc. The details of the asana and sequence are not only for the physical aspects of the practice, but they are also there to keep you focused, to guide you into meditation. Often the first step in getting comfortable with a Krishnamacharya or Ashtanga practice is understanding the details are there to help you, meditation is the core of the practice.
As you practice the sequences more regularly they will likely become rather deep and quite athletic. People don’t often associate meditation with so much physicality, but keeping the practice challenging is a part of keeping your mind focused on the here and now. As you become more familiar and comfortable with your initial introduction to Krishnamacharya’s and Pattabhi Jois’s sequences, you will naturally begin to practice them in a deeper and more athletic manner. It’s a way to help you let go of the past and future – to help you be in the moment, in meditation. No one suddenly forces a student into demanding or advanced poses, it happens naturally over time, be it months or years.
This type of moving meditation is the same meditation as when we are sitting still, it’s just a different approach. I find it’s beneficial to have both a moving meditative practice and a still one. The video attached to this post is a great introduction to meditation, please take the time to watch it. It will help you in your journey as a yoga practitioner: