One intrepid yoga master salvaged what he claims to be the oldest, generic and exceptionally energetic form of yoga called ashtanga vinyasa yoga. And Mysore-based Pattabhi Jois is aggrieved about the fact that he has taken the the West by storm yet remains a nonentity in his motherland
BEGINNER’S GUIDEPattabhi Jois suggests that you should begin with the gentle surya namaskar before adding more postures to your regimen. One day add paschimotanasana before adding more postures to your regimen. One day add paschimotanasana (head-to-knee pose, supine, hands grasping toes) on the next, include padahastasana (hands to feet pose, standing up, legs, apart, spine curved like a sliver of a crescent moon) the day after, include trikonasana (triangle pose, erect, legs spread, spine bent sideways, palm on foot). With expertise comes confidence. Gradually, slot in postures from the primary series. If all goes well you don't tear a tendon, hinges don't lock and so on the third week might be generous enough to allow you to begin practicing sitting postures.
A few words of caution: don't gallop, you could end up unseated and kissing the turf. The slower the learning process, the more the chances of imbibing permanently. Fortunately, this is easy to do, in one of Pattabhi Jois' favorite harangues in fractured English, "...You have time enough to practice, practice, practice". It is far better than learning with the help of daylight from the often warped and dusty windowpanes of libraries, far better than gasping in the rarefied musty, preservative atmosphere of books and pictures.
Be dogmatic about only one thing never practice without a teacher—or you run the risk of tempting disaster. If you decide you want to be virtually wed to yoga, to practice yoga with fealty and without letting your romantic resolve weaken then consider scaling all mountains, swimming all seas. Flying around the world in the insecure company of migratory birds with suspect loyalty. And at the beginning, middle and end of it all—find a guru. Find a guru who is not a charlatan, a guru unafraid of your years long head-banging frustration and almost psychotic impatience. Find a guru fast.
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