Hello, I’m bloodsugar and welcome to my practice journal.

I finally chose to begin a practice journal to help myself give structure to my practice of ashtanga vinyasa yoga. My on-and-off attraction to ashtanga in particular began about two years ago when my fiance’s cousin invited us to a free led/mysore class by YogaManila, and I have taken the sporadic Led Ashtanga class at PulseYoga.

Although I have had good experiences in both shalas/studios, I also had personal issues/qualms about practicing regularly in a shala/studio.

You see, I live in Metro Manila, the bustling megalopolis that is the capital of the Philippines. I work as an academic, teaching philosophy to students at a prominent private university. Although my income is well above minimum wage, and though I am part of a fairly large middle class that stabilizes the national economy, I also have some ethical problems with cultivating a studio practice in my context.

The price of one mysore or led class in Metro Manila is, on average, 500 pesos (roughly US$10). To someone working in a developed country, this sounds very cheap and affordable. Here, however, minimum wage is less than 400 pesos (US$8) a day. In that equation, a month of classes in a shala/studio would cost me the rough equivalent of a fellow citizen’s monthly salary. Though I consider the mind/body practice of yoga as part of my human flourishing, I also can’t stomach the idea that my human flourishing has to be accomplished at a cost that emphasizes the economic inequality in my country. Partly inspired as well by the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, who asserts that one’s very existence is the deprivation of the existence of an Other, and partly inspired by the principle of ahimsa (or non-violence), I was torn by the paradox of how my desire to practice yoga perpetuated inequalities and deprivations.

Enter the cyber community of yoga. I don’t remember anymore how I discovered these blogs, but I began semi-regularly reading two blogs by two people developing their home yoga practice–Reluctantashtangi.com and Ashtanga Vinyasa Krama at Home. Through their blogs, I discovered that the practice of ashtanga yoga can be done at home.

It has taken me two years to begin this journey, but I think it has been worth the wait. I’m excited by the possibility of practicing daily in my home!

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