I refuse to renounce my status of former ashtangi however. There’s no telling how long this will last. I know the only way for me to really enjoy my yoga will be to stay away from the scene, which is almost entirely goal oriented. I used to be that way! I looked at one, little Instagram clip today of an old friend doing a fancy, “achievement pose” and immediately felt that old longing. But if the “advanced” gungho poses hadn’t started fucking with my joints, if I hadn’t gotten my first, serious back tweak at that expensive workshop, I might never have gotten past the “ashtanga as validation” phase.
I can remember being disappointed in other ashtangis when I was lectured & told to “chill out” over back bending on my first trip to Mysore, winter 2006. It was like, “Chill OUT?, what the FUCK are you talking about???? Are you crazy????” I thought everyone was supposed to treat conquering the asana like a life or death mission. I thought my friends were acting like mere civilians. This is funny to me now!
People post all their best poses and are heaped with praise for just that. Hey, I was doing it before it was wildly popular to share your work. When I figured out how to teach myself no-touch jump backs and jump throughs, around 15/16 years ago, there were no helpful YouTube tutorials on the subject.