AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA PHILOSOPHY
MY PERSONAL 8 LIMBS
1. AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA IS AN INDIVIDUAL PRACTICE.
For me, it’s not about putting a rigid system on a student, it’s about accompanying each student on his or her personal path. So it has already our (as I like to say) Godfather of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga Sri T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989):
“Teach what is appropriate for each individual”.
In order to prepare for certain asanas or to deal with physio-psychic conditions, I depart myself to the strict tradition if necessary. The goal is a traditional, individually adapted yoga practice.
2. AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA IS LIKE BRUSHING TEETH.
In my opinion, we should not boast about both, not carry it so much outwardly, but simply do it and not constantly try to optimize it. One should not see it AS THE great revelation, but simply regard it as a self-evident part of his daily routine.
3. AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA CONSISTS OF 8 LIMBS AND NOT JUST ONE.
Strength and flexibility don’t make a yogi yet. Accordingly, Aṣṭāṅga Yoga is more to me than the asanas. Nevertheless, the asanas are a very good introduction to the practice of the eight-part path, as you first work your way from the outermost shell steadily inwards – ॐ First go INSIDE, then OUTSIDE ॐ.
4. AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA IS THE CLOSE CONNECTION BETWEEN TEACHER AND STUDENT.
In my opinion, it is very important to have a yoga teacher you trust. One should feel comfortable and seen in his shala. I am in my Shala every day to support my students on their individual paths. I know all my students not only by name, but also know their problems, their challenges, their aches and pains; I see you.
The following applies: What grows slowly has deep roots. It is important to me to realize that the development is happening with you on your mat and I only accompany you.
5. AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA HAPPENS WHERE YOU ARE.
You can practice Aṣṭāṅga Yoga with what you have and where you are. In the end, it doesn’t matter where you roll out your mat: Aṣṭāṅga works, detached from space and time, where you merge with love, devotion and mindfulness.
6. AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA SHOULD BE ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE.
Aṣṭāṅga is not a consumer good for me and certainly not a luxury good. That’s why AYRF did not exclude those who are less financial situated from participation in the classes. If you are in a difficult financial situation, you can come up to me and make an individual contribution with me.
“Everybody can do yoga, except lazy people”
(K. Pattabhi Jois)
… and so this should also be taken literally and implemented. If you want, you can support the AYRF solidarity principle with a voluntary Obolus.
7. AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA WORKS IN DAILY PRACTICE.
The actual work is the (daily) devoted practice of the eight paths: Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi. No more, but no less. Here you can see your up&downs, the depth of yourself, the depth of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga. Here you go your way, the end of which can be the knowledge of becoming like with your true self.
8. AṢṬĀṄGA YOGA DOES NOT FORCE OR OVERWHELM YOU.
You don’t have to practice six times a week, lead a certain lifestyle, give up your lover and include the unloved in your routine: when it’s going to happen, you’ll want it. Aṣṭāṅga Yoga is what you make out of it.
Sri T. Krishnamacharya
(The godfather of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga)