It was with some trepidation that I went to my first class. I was told just to follow along as best as I could, which I did for the next 90 minutes. Each class starts by singing a chant in Sanskrit. (In Chester, we do call and response so you at least have some idea what it's supposed to sound like. Here most of the students actually have the chant memorized but I follow along on a laminated sheet.) The class then goes into a series of "asanas" or postures, starting with five sets of each of the Sun Salutations. According to one website, "In Hindu mythology, the sun god is worshiped as a symbol of health and immortal life. The Sun Salutation gives reverence to the internal sun as well as to the external sun, the creative life force of the universe..." Pretty powerful stuff.
|Chataranga--I'm sure I look just like this!|
One cool thing about an Ashtanga practice is that it's the same the world around. There are a couple of different "routines" (for lack of a better word) but the one we do here is the most common practice. I was looking on the web at yoga classes in Nova Scotia yesterday and noticed that a woman I've taken a few classes with in a nearby community teaches an Ashtanga class one night a week. Her studio is in a boat house extended over Mahone Bay and is an amazing place to do yoga. It has been added to my "to do" list of things for the summer--yet another reason to look forward to getting back to Chester!