How to learn?

I joined the challenge #flylikeayogi on Instagram created by Kino. Every day we shall do and post an asana for 10 days. Bakasana was the second asana.

Yesterday on the third day tittibhasana was on the list. I had not time to warm up. To do the pose out of the blue is not possible. I loved to do tittibhasana, I lost it.

This morning I practiced mainly back bending asanas. To switch to a forward bending asana like tittibhasana would have been impossible. Am I out already after the second pose? It can be….

I love the classes on that accompany the poses. They are so helpful. So much is covered within an hour: easier variations, preparation asanas, strength, flexibility and technique exercises. Following the classes helps to learn an asana very fast. This is why I join a teacher. In my opinion a good teacher can help to accelerate the process of learning. Kino is an excellent teacher.

This reminds me how disappointed I am how learning happens in the Ashtanga yoga community. One shall practice daily. That’s absolutely great advice.
One is allowed to practice till an asana that one isn’t able to do. Then one can hear: You stop here. If lucky one gets an adjustment every day when trying this asana. Yet usually this challenging asana is practiced for 5 breaths. One can hope that it gets better every day. If not one is stuck there till the rest of one’s life. The teaching of Ashtanga yoga is stuck in the last century. In addition it became very inflexible. The challenge is to teach too many students at the same time. The easiest way is that everybody (every body) has to do the same. There is no time for individuality. I got injured following this method of learning asanas. I learned much less than I could have learned if I had practiced more often on my own.

Why not using blocks?
Why not doing additional strength exercises, if it helps?
Why not exercising variations?
Why not giving some useful explanations?

When I went to Ashtanga yoga classes my main learning source were the mistakes of the other yogis.  I don’t know how often I thought: don’t do this, don’t do that.

Learning has revolutionized in the last decade. I try to profit from the insights of a fitness community.

These days I practice at home. My practice becomes more and more my own practice. The Ashtanga yoga series are like a skeleton of a tree. They are the basis, the orientation of my practice. I want to practice close to series. Yet I change it if it’s better for my back. Soon leaves will decorate the stems and the branches of the trees. They stand for variations, flexibility. They keep the practice lively. Adding asanas, trying variations keeps the mind awake. Exploring new movements deepens the understanding of this art. Why not doing this?

I practiced second series today. I enjoyed to write in my calender that I had practiced. It’s the third practice this month.