The Mindful Ashtangi Manifesto

1. Guru Free

The mindful ashtangi is their own guru. A mindful ashtangi is the sole authority of their practice and life. How a mindful ashtangi thinks, feels, sequences their practice and approaches their practice every day is up to them.

 

2. Absence of Authority

Tradition, lineage, and authority do not exist. A mindful ashtangi who pursues a heart orientated path, gives no power to over-arching dogma, lineage, gurus or rules which will dictate what they choose to pursue.

 

3. Beautiful Partnerships

Encouragement and advice from others are welcomed and should be sought out. A mindful ashtangi will cut anyone who drains the energy of their exploration with negativity, shaming, claims of authority/tradition, abuse and dogmatic logic. Love stems from acceptance and trust, not a place of control and judgment. Those who wish to help will respect a mindful Ashtangi’s unique heart orientated path and vision of yoga.

 

4. Spiritual Connection

Within the sequence, a spiritual connection to the present moment, mother earth/universe and to the mindful ashtangi’s highest self is the ultimate goal. A mindful asthangi seeks new alternatives for anything that interferes with that connection. A solution exists, however, the mindful ashtangi may need to research and go outside of yoga to find that solution. There are no taboos. Transcend the judgment of others and limitations to see what works best!

 

5. Absolute Creative Power

Any pose or vinyasa can be modified, removed, or exchanged for another. There is no right or wrong sequence. Someone created Ashtanga Vinyasa. You have the same powers of creation. Use them!

 

6. No Pain – Just Perfection

Instead of no pain, no gain. How about no pain, no pain? What is the point of pushing through pain? You’re already perfect. Flexibility does not equal spirituality. So why push so hard?

 

7. Freedom of Breath

A mindful ashtangi experiments with breath. Your practice is not a race. Intuition will lead you to take more breaths in a pose. Some may have fewer breaths. Also, the mindful ashtangi questions the logic and dogma of ujjayi breath. There are other ways to breath, and having options to alternate between creates a larger toolbox. Diaphragmatic breathing and natural breathing contain healing and energetic elements that ujjayi breathing misses. Experiment with all three, and other types of breath to broaden your practice’s scope.

 

8. Flexibility Trap

Flexibility does not equal spirituality/enlightenment. If it did, all contortionists and gymnasts could be spiritual with no other work. The mindful ashtangi focuses on reflection, meditation, love, awareness, connection with the earth/universe/God, stillness, gratefulness and education to manifest spirituality and enlightenment. At this very moment, you can tap into your deepest emotions, problems, and dreams.

 

9. Conscious Co-Creative Sharing

The mindful ashtangi teaches, shares and communicates with others only from the divine love in their heart.  No piece of paper, ytt, authorization or knowledge determines what and who you can teach. Spread knowledge and love, and that energy will return back in another form. Don’t fall into the traps of control, jealousy and authority. Co-create a beautiful yoga experience whether you are a teacher or student.

About Ian Cattanach

Growth through yoga, nature, spirituality, writing and reading has been the central focus of my life for many years. I am based out of Las Vegas, and for the last three years teach yoga to classes, individuals and online audiences. I write novels, poems, and non-fiction books that explore and experiment with spiritual ideas. I love to ski, attend university, play with my dog Jaxon and spend time in nature.