The Second Series of Ashtanga yoga is gnarly. There are no two ways about it. It's the kind of sequence that makes you questions whether you're doing yoga or acrobatics. But it is also the kind of sequence that brings you to your edge in a way that strips away all ego, all stories, all walls and forces you to come face to face with yourself. And that is an incredible power.
Nadi Shodhana, or nerve cleansing, is the official name of the series and it definitely lives up to it. But it's cleansing with fire, not soap. The first time I tried the the second series of Ashtanga Yoga, I felt frazzled and strung out. It honestly scared me a little bit. But I came back and with time I came to appreciate that that feeling is the process of cleansing your nervous system. I started to find that I could deal with things outside of yoga better because I had learned to breathe during kapotasana and I had lived through yoga nidrasana. The idea is to go so deep into the spaces in your body and mind that all that's left is raw and vulnerable and therefore open to receiving love, light and peace.
I've heard it said that the second series should absolutely rip your heart open. I have definitely experienced this myself, and this is why the second series should be taken on with diligence, patience and bravery. This series is not for the faint of heart, you will have to head into the refiner's fire and find out what is there, deep inside of you. Yes, you will have peers and you will have a teacher, but in the end, this is a journey you take alone, and the power of that solo endeavor and dedication will bring you to a state of equanimity that will change your life.
If I haven't scared you off by now, that might mean it's time for you to start exploring this set of asanas. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch me at Amara to find out whether my upcoming "Intro to the Second Series" weekend intensive would be a good fit for you at this time in your practice. I look forward to the courageous who will be joining me!
April 24-26, 2015
Friday 7-9:30 PM
Saturday 12:30-3:30 & 5:30-9:30 PM
Sunday 8-11:30 AM