One of the many things, I love about yoga is it's transportability, all you need is a mat. You could of course practice without a mat and you can do it alone. These things make having a personal practice easier and means you can do it anywhere you can find the space.
Of course many Ashtangi's have a mat and a rug or a yoga towel. I've always just used a mat as I do not sweat much. I had a rug for a while in Mysore, gave me blue toes (the dye) and after a few washes and tries I decided I did not need it even in the Indian heat.
Where is this story going? Well a few weeks ago I lost my mat. It fell off the back of my bike, true but rather random story. So I bought a new mat, I love the type of mat I have, Planet Sadhana but have no particular attachment to that specific mat. It's a waste of money re-buying things but anyway this isn't the story.
Two weeks ago, I went to London and to the shala, my new mat was just one week old. The initial slipperyness was gone but it did not stand up well against the shala heat. My practice is getting longer and as a result I am getting warmer. It takes until Kurmasana for me to feel fully warmed up. If your doing primary your almost done at that point but I am now practising up to Bakasana B in second. So when I got to Kapotasana in the shala and the teacher told me to walk my hands in, I slid and couldn't so she had to bring them in for me. My final backbend was even more ridiculous, slide, slide, slide. Even at home alone I have been sliding in kapo B.
So I am heading to the shala this weekend and did not want a repeat, so I bought a yoga towel. I got a cheap one because I only need it for backbending. I have only practiced my second series poses with it once but woah! After practising Ashtanga for 5 years changes in my practice seems to be fairly gradual. Kapotasana has been a challenge to work on at home alone but with the yoga towel it was better than it has ever been at home. I can creep my hands in, I could never do that before. I walked my hands to toes 3 times. It was great for walking hands in, Urdva Dhanurasana too.
I am truly amazed that a thing can have this much impact on my practice. Feel like I can actually start to work on it now. No more flailing. Tomorrow is my day off and then I am off to London for a long weekend of Mysore classes and hanging out with yogi friends. I will of course be taking my new towel!
Langhana Kriya - the reduction, exhalation, principle - from Srivatsa Ramaswami's Complete Book of vinyasa yoga Based on the teaching of T. Krishnamacharya (Ramaswami was a student of Krishnamacharya's for 30+ ye...
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