The Importance of Maintaining a Self-Practice
Author: Natalie Basch
During this year in India, I was able to reconnect with my personal Yoga practice again and honestly; it's been the best thing ever!
I started Airo in 2018, and it all grew really fast. I had teaching opportunities everywhere, in Kuala Lumpur, Sri Lanka, Morocco. Classes, private classes, workshops, teacher trainings!
Last year was an exciting year. I hosted two successful Airo Teacher trainings, build a good client base in Kuala Lumpur and I also co-hosted our very own Yoga Alliance Certified 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Kristen Wade in Kuala Lumpur.
I was teaching up to 5 hours a day, six times a week, and at the end of the year, I was utterly burnt out. I still managed to maintain a regular meditation practice, but I was not able to make time for my own asana practice. And I really NEED that physical element in my life. I really missed MY YOGA. The yoga that cleared my mind and kept me in a focused headspace.
At the beginning of the year, I set the intention to find my own practice again. The Universe listened and just by chance, I ended up in Rishikesh, India, where I attended my first Ashtanga Mysore style yoga class – and I was hooked.
Mysore Style Ashtanga is unique in the way that everyone learns the set Ashtanga Routine BUT you flow through the practice on your own. There is no teacher to lead you. The teacher will come and give you adjustments and help you individually BUT YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN – Self-Practice. We all chant the opening Mantra together and then you are on your own journey, with 20 other yogis.
I did a 150-hour immersion course with Sachin Badoni at Ashtanga Yoga School in Rishikesh and it was so so beneficial.
Since then, I’ve been able to maintain a regular Ashtanga practice. Traditionally you would practice every morning, except moon days and Sundays. I don’t stick to it entirely, but I can definitely commit to 5-morning practices a week.
Some of the reasons I love my Ashtanga practice so much is:
- It’s a set routine, which means you just get on the mat and start.
- You don’t have to plan your own practice and think what you want to work on – you just move through the sequence.
- You don’t have to go to a yoga class – you’re an independent practitioner.
- You can practice in your own space at your own time.
- Every day feels different.
- You notice your own progress.
- You progress very quickly.
- It’s my favourite form of exercise – because it’s freaking challenging! SO MANY CHATURANGAS.
Having taken the time to commit to my own practice again has helped so much. I have a clearer mind, I can focus on work, I am more creative, and most importantly, I’m able to stay fit.
So, to all the newbie teachers out there, who are also excited about starting to teach: DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR OWN PRACTICE! It doesn’t matter what it is: whether its Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Airo. Just make sure to slot that time in for you. It’s so imperative.
Having a structured yoga routine makes life SO MUCH EASIER. Trust me on this one. So if traditional Ashtanga is not your vibe, that’s okay. I’ve incorporated a similar system in the Airo Foundations course. So if you are looking for a more structured approach to your personal practice, this could definitely be for you!