Today I had a privilege to hold the space and support a group of female Ashtangis during an early morning Mysore class (no male practitioners in the shala at that moment).
It was such an inspiration to observe each of them completely absorbed in their own practice. I was deeply moved by their dedication, grace, beauty, fiercefulness, commitment… Many different body types, different ages, different level of practice, but one thing in common: an exceptional strength, that quiet essence of being a Goddess, or a powerful woman that could change the world upside down, if needed.
And I am not talking about their abilities to perform advanced asanas, or about the special flexibility skills we often can see on social media – their strength was condensed in every breath, in every drop of sweat, in every movement. That kind of strength they are building by being present on their mat every day, no matter the weather, or the pain(s), or the bad moments in life… On the mat week by week, month by month, year by year. Cutting all their excuses, weaknesses and laziness with a steel sword of self-discipline.
In the presence of these exceptional, yet so ’normal’ women I had a clear vision of Ashtanga practice as the Essence of the feminine - that quiet, mindful and powerful presence, the mixture of grace and mindfulness of every single movement, a blend of softness and mountain-like steadiness.
The shala was vibrating of that energy that touched me so profoundly, making me understand once more how Ashtanga is a powerful and transformative practice that has nothing (or very little) to do with a muscular, masculine, harsh approach; making me feel powerful because I’m a woman, making me feel grateful for this group of yoginis that I am honoured to call my students.