Hopefully, I am not alone in my love for Ashtanga. I really do adore it and I know it has changed my life in so many ways. Each year, on Febrary 23rd, I celebrate my ashtangaversary. It is, of course, the anniversary of my first ashtanga class. Thanks to Facebook, I have a short record of my 6 years of ashtanga and today I thought I'd share a bit of my journey.
Feb. 23, 2012: Has officially taken and survived my first Astanga class. Very proud, but a bit worried I may have pushed my hamstrings too far. We will find out tomorrow.
Little did I know what I had started...
Feb. 23, 2014: Had a great weekend. Got to do lots of yoga (my first official workshop weekend)!
I didn't know I was celebrating quite yet, just two years in, but nonetheless, I was.
Feb. 23, 2015: On this exact date in 2012 I took my first Ashtanga class. In the last three years I have found a yoga community and a passion for the practice. I have learned so much about myself both on and off my mat, and I am so thankful for it each and every day.
A simple celebration :)
Feb. 23, 2016: Today it has been 4 years since my first Ashtanga class. I had pretty much given up on baddha konasana after 3 and a half years of seemingly little or no progress. Then, one day, about 2 months ago, my hips opened up and with some pushing and prodding, I can now do it by myself. Every day I show up on my mat, I am reminded that things take time and that with patience and practice things will change. I'm so thankful that Danielle Godfrey pushed me to take my first Ashtanga class four years ago today; my life would not be the same without this practice. Ashtanga Yoga Phoenix has been a blessing in so many ways and I can't wait to what the next year brings! Happy Ashtangaversary to Me! — with Lisa Schrempp at Urban Yoga.
Interestingly enough, I had just started practicing 6 days a week in November of 2015. Is this what made the difference? Probably. :)
Feb. 23, 2017: Today is my my five year #ashtangaversary as I took my very first #ashtanga class at 6pm on February 23rd in 2012. I now get up at 4 am to do my practice before work, but I will be forever grateful for that first night class. This practice has been life changing and I am thankful every day that I get to do it. This, for me, has been the year of the back. My body seems to go through phases: for a year my hamstrings hurt every day all day, then it was my hip flexor a year or two later, and now it is my back (thanks #kapotasana), but even though my back hurts, things feel so much better in so many ways. I may not be a natural backbender, but my body is figuring it out and #urdhvadhanurasana (the bane of my existence for many years) no longer hurts (even if I still have to convince myself to do them every day). And best of all, I can officially do a #dropback without any fear (that's over 5 years in the making). I always look forward to this day, my ashtangaversary, because it is a time to reflect, to remember how far I've come, and to imagine what the next year will bring. Thank you to everyone who has helped me on my journey so far. I can't wait to get on the mat again tomorrow. Thanks to @duchessofgreatness for capturing this awesome moment in my practice. @ashtangayogaphoenix
So many changes in such a short period of time. I love it!
Feb. 23, 2018: Ashtangaversary time! 6 years ago today I took my very first Ashtanga yoga class. I will be forever indebted to the wonderful Danielle Godfrey for pushing me to go. I was scared and intimidated, but it was on this day 6 years ago that I found one of my greatest passions. Each year I take a moment to reflect on my growth. I’m always learning something new (sometimes it’s how to be still, sometimes it’s a new pose, one year I figured out how to really breathe) and I’m always thankful for the challenges that I’ve overcome and those that I’m still working on. This year, I achieved a goal that I’ve been working on since almost the beginning: dropping back and standing up on my own. I’m proud of this achievement for many reasons. I have overcome fear (seriously so much fear) weakness, anxiety, and self doubt to get to this moment. It isn’t perfect, and some weeks I still can’t do it, but it is getting more consistent and most importantly I’m not afraid any longer. I’m so thankful for all my teachers, especially my current team of Susan Rowland, Cindy Hrnicek, and Sean Sheltonwho always see in me what I’m not quite ready to see. I appreciate you immensely.
So here’s to another year, Ashtanga. I’m happy to know you and I can’t wait to see you on the mat.
I seriously can't believe I am here. I hope you enjoyed my short journey into the past. I know that it helps me to remember where I started. I could barely touch my toes in my first class and now, I'm dropping back without any help. It is amazing how you (and your body) can change in such a short period of time. I know that ashtanga has been life changing for me, and I hope that you can look back on your ashtangaversary and have a sense of accomplishment and thankfulness for the practice each year!
We are a community of Ashtanga yoga practitioners who blog about the things we love.