Why I practice Ashtanga Yoga?

My journey with Ashtanga started 3 years ago when I met my first teacher in Sofia. His name is Christopher Conn. I remember I spent all my savings to go to practice every day for a month. At this time of my life I was going through my first and most painful breakup. I didn’t know almost anything about myself. I was curious, motivated, but a bit naive. The practice grounded me and kept my mind away from the emotional pain. Instead, I was feeling the physical pain. My body was changing. Traditionally, Ashtanga is practiced 6 days a week and is a very demanding physical practice.

I was not ready for relationship. But I started one. With Ashtanga. I didn’t realise it until now. The thing is I wasn’t committed fully to it, even though I kept practicing in different times. There were periods when I was on the mat every day for months and suddenly I would stop. I have been breaking up with it and getting back to it. Its been on and off for 3 years now. I have practiced during sadness, happiness, tranquility, pain, hurt, panic attacks, even after a glass of wine. By practicing in different moments of my life, I learned that all things pass.

In the beginning, I was striving for the poses, to be more flexible, stronger. This is not the goal. Ashtanga can be very competitive as it is very dynamic. But the body and the yoga poses, known as asanas are serving as tools to cultivate a more subtle state of mind. Which is available after surrendering to the practice.

Since I started my yoga journey, I have used the practice as a mirror for self-awareness, as search of universal truths.

This summer I started practising again with Christopher in Sofia, for 2 months. Then I moved to live in Málaga, Spain where I found Ashtanga Yoga Shala. Since September, I practice with Patricia Acuña, authorised teacher, level 1. This has been the longest time I have kept my practice, I think. My practice has deepened, some asanas(poses) have become more comfortable with time like the lotus, which was impossible for my knee before. And the backbend.

The habit of getting on the mat over extended period of time has proven me that I can be dedicated to something. I learned what discipline means, how to be patient with my body and to respect its boundaries, to be kind and to forgive myself for not meeting certain expectations every day. I confront pain and work with it instead of running, I try to be gentle and soft with myself and others, and to communicate with an open my heart. I observe more the mind and its thoughts and don't identify with them when they come.

However, I know the journey keeps going as I am just a beginner. The more you practice yoga, the more the practice impacts your life. It's a long road, it never ends. So I practice with humility and humbleness. I am grateful for my teachers.