Primary Series and Lots of Sweat!

After Tuesday’s beginner Ashtanga yoga class at Practice Yoga, I got brave today and wandered into the Primary Series class. Now, I’ve read David Swenson’s Ashtanga Yoga book and screwed around with some of the short series stuff, but let me tell you, there’s a big difference between following in a book and having someone actually calling out the sequence. Oh my heck! I literally walked out of the yoga studio like a zombie. Although I tried to act as normal as possible when the class ended, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. I was like oh yeah, I’m cool, it’s all good, roll up my mat, where’s my shoes, grab my bag. But actually I was like holy crap, my legs are rattling, where’s the wheelchair, my throat doesn’t work, and I think I’m going to need a maximum dose of Advil tonight!

I bet I lost 10 pounds of sweat. Of course I forgot to take a towel so I spent about an hour ice skating on my mat. I about did the splits once on the puddles of sweat, which I guarantee would have ended everything, and I mean everything. Maybe someday I’ll do the splits, but not today. I definitely didn’t look graceful or lock every pose like a pro (in fact, after a while I couldn’t remember which leg I’d just stretched when switching to the other side after vinyasa, which I think was somewhat entertaining for the lady on the mat next to me), but I did have a great yoga experience. I think I’m addicted to Ashtanga. Thanks to the great folks at Practice Yoga for rekindling the fire. What a difference two classes can make.

Ashtanga Primary Series


  1. Nice post!! But, I think I really have to stop reading these ashtanga yoga blogs!!!! I cannot find an ashtanga class in my area. It makes me envious of those who have the oportunity to be part of a shala and have the full benefit of the astanga experience. I have a daily home practice which I love but it is not the same.

  2. Gypsy Girl –
    Don’t stop reading! I’m not even sure if there are ashtanga yoga classes available in my neck of the woods in Northwest Florida. I had a great time in Dayton, but I suppose I’ll have to adapt if I can’t find anything.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love the way you have described your Ashtanaga experience and chuckled at being in a very similar situation – the wobble I know well LOL. I only recently tried a Mysore practice and really appreciate the discipline.

  4. Hi, Kathi from Practice Yoga in Dayton again. We’re so glad you enjoyed our classes! I think I was next to you in that class, and you did great! It gets easier, I swear.
    Pacing is key in Ashtanga, yet another benefit to group classes.
    And those traditional Mysore adjustments are like nothing else! From a qualified teacher, they’re intense in the best, safest way.
    Hope your travels bring you back to Dayton and Practice!
    Keep up the vinyasa!

  5. I agree with you … Ashtanga is such a wonderful and addictive style. Good luck with your practice.

    Also, thanks for displaying my book. I will admit though, I feel a bit funny when I see it amongst so many written by some of my favourite people.

    Nice job with the blog.


    david byck

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