Awkward Ashtanga Moments

There was that time I extended into my fifth Navasana after a strong lift-off, the morning sun streaming in the wall-length windows, and let out an echoing gastronomic eruption in an otherwise silent room. Or the multiple times I exhaled into a somersault and hit the wall while my teacher was trying to press my knuckles to the floor in Prasarita C. Or the morning I rose up from Bhujapidasana and noticed I’d left a booger on the mat. Or the moment I realize I’m pressing my sweaty crotch into my teacher’s leg as I push my hips forward during assisted dropbacks. And the moment after that when I decide I don’t care as long as it gets my psoas open. My teacher, Amanda Markland, has some good stories, too. She’s had students look up while she’s pressing them in Adho Mukha Svanasana, and, since she’s vertically challenged, ends up with a face in her mula bandha. She’s even walked away from an adjustment with a brightly-colored tattoo scab stuck to her hand (the owner of that healing tattoo was me, and I was mortified). She’s told a story about chakrasana-ing onto the person taking rest behind her in a crowded Mysore room. My guess is that ended his rest. We’ve all been there. The Mysore room is full of sweaty, breathing humans all focused on their practice, so decorum falls to the wayside and awkward shit happens. Ever whispered “fuck yeah” after finally getting the bind in Mari D? I have, and it’s completely inappropriate to talk, much less curse, in the Mysore room. Ever gotten stuck in a Garbha roll and had to have your teacher slow down the count during Led Primary to come rescue you? I have. Ever lost control of your Sirsasana and kicked someone on the way down? I have. Ever started sobbing trying to grab your ankles in Urdhva Dhanurasana? I have, and apparently Ryan Gosling has, too (you have to check out the Ryan Gosling Ashtanga tumblr if you haven’t yet). tumblr_mnj4kceGBm1sswxtyo1_400 Do you have any awkward Ashtanga moments to share? I want to hear them! Yes, this practice is one of grace, strength, and beauty, and that’s most of what we see on social media and popular culture. But it takes a lot of less-than-graceful moments to pull off a Titthibhasana to Bakasana transition without falling on your ass. So let’s celebrate those awkward moments, because they’re just as much a part of the practice as executing a flawless jumpthrough is. I’ll close with this, one of my own #yogafails (complete with adorable dog) that wound up getting a surprising amount of attention.

Hugs, Emma

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