By Elise Espat
Yoga blogger, "Skelly", is gathering ashtanga "user" stories from the frontline. Or perhaps the "bustline" is a more appropriate term, as her aim is to celebrate the female experience of ashtanga yoga in all its glory and gloom.
The idea of what I am calling "project Ashtangini" is to put together a resource for fellow Ashtanginis that is both light hearted and informative. The idea came to me when I asked a male teacher, one quite high up in the yoga world, how long it takes after having babies to really get back those mystical bandhas. He said "I wouldn't know. I've never had a baby" and I thought "yeah, okay you could have come up with a better answer", BUT he is right. In a male dominated world (especially as far as resources go) women know things men don't and we should be sharing that information. So the idea is to collect tidbits, funny stories, saged advice and put it together as a compilation. The titles for the categories (still brainstorming)
Beginners (you want me put my what--where?)
Progression (look at me !!!!)
Strength (where do I get it from?)
Pregnancy (sarvangasana = suffocating asana)
Breastfeeding (see previous)
Ashtanga after baby (where did my strength, energy, time go and can I pop back to the hospital to collect my bandhas as I am sure I left them there?)
Embarrassing stories (let's face it, no bloke can understand the sheer horror of coming out of shoulderstand in a silent shala filled only with the sound of breath, the room hot with energy only to let out the LOUDEST VART EVER) especially likely after the previous two categories.
I want it to be fun, inspiring and informative, because there is a gap in the information in books as far as us girls go. If which I am sure it will, the book gets to publishable stage, all profits will go to charity, I would inform all contributors which charity but it would most likely be to help families raising autistic children as that is very close to my heart and families are usually very under supported. Emails are to be sent to northumberlandyoga at gmail dot com and names will only be published if the contributor wants, otherwise they remain anon
Many thanks for your help!
To keep up with Skelly's project, her yoga journey, and to see her original post on the topic, visit her blog The only ashtangi in the village (yoga from the frontline of life).