Adventures in Mysore India,  Reblogs,  Teaching Ashtanga

“You Stop” are these words dreaded or welcome?

by Shanna Small

There was a time where having someone stop me before my ego felt it was done with the practice would have crushed me. Now, I think I might welcome it. Ashtnaga is hard as it is, a few less poses for a while might be a break and it definitely would give me time to work on poses that have fallen through the cracks. We will explore this a little further later on this week. For now, take a look at Latina Yogis’s blog and her experience at being stopped by Sharath in Mysore.

On my first Mysore practice; sweat dripping; fear and breath. Supta Kurmanasa is one of the hardest asanas on the primary series. Is called the turtle pose. And is a very intimidating pose; at least for me, because you literally withdrawn yourself into little tight ball. If you don’t breathe properly you will panic. I was helped by one of the many advanced students and teachers that assist Sharath everyday at the Shala. And when I felt the grip on my hands I felt like some sort of explosion was happening inside of me.

Five breaths felt like an eternity… and then I heard the Boss tell me: “You stop!!!” which meant my series stop there. I can’t continue with any other asana, those are his orders and even though I practice the entire primary series at home, I must follow what he says. That’s the deal here. You can’t skip or do the asanas you want. Many students don’t like that; because it is a humbling experience to admit you are not ready to practice other asanas. I know I am not ready; that’s why I must stop and keep practicing until I master that asana. The asana comes when you have also given up many things up: angry, greed and other poisons. Yoga is bigger than us. In our practice there’s a logical sequence and you just can’t jump to more advance asanas until you master the basics.

That’s why I came all the way to Costa Rica to here, to do that. To actually make a stop in my life and confront myself. Follow the sequence of the Yamas and Niyamas. Step outside my bubble. Never in a million years I would’ve thought of coming to this magical land; where divinity rules everyday life; nothing makes sense here, yet it all falls into place perfectly. A community of yogis blended with the Gokulam population. The golden sun with a warm light; I am on the other side of the world and yet I have never ever felt a sense of belonging like I do in here. I have arrived home…

Read the full post here

What do you feel when you are stopped in your practice? Dread or relief?

Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail

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