Maria Villella on The Practice of Ashtanga Yoga

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Rating: 4.9/5 (7 votes cast)

Ashtanga Yoga teacher Maria Villella talks about her first Yoga class, developing a consistent practice and why you should think about how you’ll feel AFTER you practice.

Maria on her first Yoga class.
My first yoga class was an Ashtanga class. I went into a studio and I asked the women who was there, I said, “You know, I’m interested in maybe trying Yoga. I’m not sure if that’s what I’m looking for.. I was a dancer and I did karate and I’m a pretty active person. And she said, “Well, you sound like an Ashtanga girl.” And so I said, “Okay. I’ll try it. Sign me up.” So I signed up for the four week Intro to Asthanga Course and from my first class I knew that it was it. It was going to be my life practice.

From Ballet and Karate to Ashtanga..
Growing up I was a straight A student and I was involved in classical ballet and then I got involved in karate. All of these things put a lot of pressure on me. And at one point I gave them all up. When I found Ashtanga I was able to connect to my body. It was the mind, body, spirit connection, but just intensified. There was much more there, than I found in either karate or ballet.

How often should beginners practice?
My thought on beginners coming to Yoga is, in a perfect world ideally we would do five, six days a week. And I certainly encourage people to do five, six days a week even as beginners, absolutely possible. However, I also understand, because I’ve been there.. as a student, as a worker, as a mother, as a wife, anything, we have responsibilities. So, if you can’t commit to five, six days a week, I think it’s fine to commit to three, four days a week. Just commit to a certain amount of time and be there, show for that amount of time. Don’t let other things get in the way. If you don’t make room for it, it will never happen.

On being consistent..
Sometimes people think they’re tired, they’re depressed, so they don’t want to go to Yoga. But if they find the energy to go to Yoga, when they leave, they say thank God I went to my Yoga class or I practiced today. Those are all reasons to go to Yoga. When you say I don’t want to go to Yoga today or “I’m too tired, I’m too sore”, these excuses come up, remember how you are going to feel afterward, don’t think about how you feel now, try to think about how you’ll feel after you practice.

Maria Villella on The Practice of Ashtanga Yoga, 4.9 out of 5 based on 7 ratings
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  1. Tanya says:

    Hi Maria,

    How are you? I’ve been practising yoga for 10yrs …Ashtanga for 2yrs and I have just experienced my first

    injury a groin strain have you ever had this type of injury ..I recently bought your full primary series and

    jump-though downloads which is great as sometimes I feel my teacher is too busy to help all his students

    so I tend to do a lot of research and practice at home My Sore Style

    Look Forward to hearing fro you….


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