Vinyasa, Hatha, & Creative Ashtanga

I realize the title seems to imply that this could be a lengthy explanation of definitions, differences, and similarities, but it’s really just a little story. (You might be pleasantly surprised or a bit disappointed, or maybe some of each!)

I hurt my hip in July of 2019 doing a yoga pose that didn’t really need doing, though it was fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Until I didn’t. In July of 2020 my knee decided it had had enough. What it had enough of, however, I wasn’t really sure. All I had been doing was walking on cement sidewalks a few miles three times a day since April. (Remember April, May, and June of 2020?) I suppose that, combined with an active childhood that included a splash of gymnastics, 16 years of jumping back (and up) in Surya Namaskara A & B, and congenitally under-developed hip sockets and other misaligned joints and weaknesses, resulted in my knee swelling up and me thinking I had gout. Thankfully, I did not have to give up my favorite indulgences. It seems I’d rather have patellar tendonosis instead.

All this is to say that I’ve been enjoying a 10 day meditation challenge, and I took a “creative ashtanga” class this morning to see how it might feel, and my left hip was like, What are you doing? And my left knee was like, Have you been meditating for a long time? My right hip flexor said, What did you do yesterday? And my right shoulder? It was like, Are you kidding me…? After all we’ve been through…? Keep in mind, I made all the postures and vinyasas fit my current body and its needs and wants, and still my body was like, Huh? This doesn’t feel right.

So. There’s vinyasa and there’s vinyasa. I still find my flow even when I’m not jumping, doing push-ups, and raising and lowering my arms a million times. I still connect my postures like strings of pearls. I still love flowing and powering in my yoga practice. It just looks different on the outside.

So. I have hip dysplasia, and I never would’ve found that out if it hadn’t been for sugarcane pose. However, I’d rather not know I have hip dysplasia. Moving forward, if a pose isn’t really necessary, and it’s bordering on extreme, I’m not going to do it. (I’m sort of laughing as I type this because I couldn’t do any sort-of-extreme posture anymore. My body’s not havin’ it!) It kind of reminds me of the time my 2-year-old hit me smack in the third eye with a wooden block. I had enough sense to think, Well? That’s something. I suppose I’ll never be hit in the head exactly the same way ever again. And going forward, I steered clear.

So. What’s changing for you?

For Practice

  • What have you been forcing yourself to do that you really don’t want to do anymore (or ever really did), and you have a choice around it? What have you been putting yourself in the way of when you could shift to the side?
  • What would it feel like to practice the way you want to practice, not the way you think you should practice?
  • How do you think it would be to practice asana simply by feel. Instead of visualizing images of yoga postures (from books, apps, sites, or even in the mirror), close your eyes and feel your way into only the asana your body manifests comfortably. Yep, I said it – comfortably!! Asana = comfortable seat. ūüėČ

Happy Practicing,


The Universal Yogi

Yoga Workshop

Happy Summer, Yoga Friends!¬† Don’t forget to come to the season’s first yoga gathering, and spread the word…

Ashtanga-Based Power Yoga Workshop, Beginners
Wednesday, June 1, No Limits Studio (B)
6:00 ‚Äď 8:00pm

This workshop is designed for students who have never participated in power yoga classes before.  So don’t be shy, everyone will be in the same boat!  In fact, no prior yoga experience is required.  We will learn proper breathing techniques, foundational poses that make up the sun salutations, safe ways of moving and breathing, how to link one pose to the next, and helpful tips to slip into relaxation.

Hope to see you there!

Happy Practicing!


The Catholic Yogi

Understanding Ashtanga

¬†¬†¬†¬† Ashtanga Yoga is the basis of all “power yoga” and “vinyasa yoga”¬† practices.¬† It is firmly rooted¬†in the philosophy of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.¬† Tim Miller, one of Ashtanga Yoga’s top teachers, gives an exceptionally clear and concise description of the¬†practice of Ashtanga¬†as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in an email interview with Yoga International.

He¬†explains the eight-fold path,¬†its external and internal practices, the importance of the breath, and shares the little known understanding of Ashtanga Yoga’s¬†role in our modern world:¬† “Pattabhi Jois was very clear that one’s yoga practice¬†is not meant to consume one’s life, but rather¬†to support¬†all the other facets of¬†life.”

If you’re curious to learn a little about the history and legacy of Ashtanga Yoga and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, take a few minutes to read Tim’s¬†full interview at Yoga International.