Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On not doing ashtanga

After the first ashtanga class I ever took, I went home and took a three-hour nap, and then my arms felt like useless t-rex arms for about a week. Or maybe two. But I like the discipline, as well as being able to compare your practice over time. Not that I could handle a strict diet of ashtanga, being one of those undisciplined Westerners used to having my monkey-mind catered to.

But here in Manhattan, what you get is a diet of strict ashtanga. Ashtanga studios are serious about it, and if you take ashtanga seriously there are a lot of rules to follow. All classes are mysore (that means, you better have memorized the sequence, and, uh, I have to admit I haven't. Not completely). They don't offer classes on moon days (look that one up yourself.) So maybe what I like is Gillian teaching ashtanga, which isn't quite the same thing as liking ashtanga.

Not that I'll be able to find out for sure. Literally every ashtanga studio in Manhattan, and there are a bunch, does it during the day. The morning classes run until past 8, and the very latest classes start before 5. Who is doing all this ashtanga? Is there another rule I didn't know about, one that requires you to be a bartender, student, or housewife? Even if I went to mysore at 6:30, and I am not a morning person, I might be done by 8, but then I'd still have to go home, shower, and go to work. That's not super-cool where I work, and I'm not even an accountant or something at a staid, 8-5, conservative firm.

It does seem that with half a dozen ashtanga studios in Manhattan alone, someone could cater to the 8-to-5 crowd. Maybe that's how I'll make my millions.

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