from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Exploring 3rd series; Viranchyasana A, (first part of A)

Struggled with this today. Sunday I was able to lift it up but couldn't get it off the ground this morning. Sure I'm supposed to have my half lotus knee on the mat to make the pose more stable but this is the best I can manage for now.

I tried reaching over and under to bind but not a hope.

I think I need to set up my half lotus differently but I can't work out how else to lay it. I was having a hell of a time in Purna Matsyendrasana, my foot just seeming to be in the way whichever way I try to place it.

That said it's beginning to become more comfortable, I'm a little steadier and can start thinking about working on the breath and slowing it down.

So the question that was bugging me last week that I didn't have time to explore.
Basically I was wondering if this was the way I wanted to practice my Yoga.

All those arm balances on top of the whole tick tock thing and Mysore backbend sequence, had me questioning my motivations and attitude towards practice. A third of 3rd series is Arm balancing, a third! bit much? I like them, they make great party tricks and because I'm quite strong they are less of a challenge for me than the Purna M's and Raja Kapo's, let alone Hanumanasana but is that how I want to practice my yoga?

And yet if you forget about Galavasana to Astavakrasana and look at the rest of the series it definitely is how I want to practice yoga. I looked at Swenson's Advanced A and B DVD yesterday and put it on my ipod to practice with this morning. Seems a much more balanced series and I think that's the one I'm going to be working towards, best of all Hanumanasana is right at the end.

I don't think It's something I want to practice more than once a week, twice at most but then I always like the idea of practicing Primary, Intermediate and 3rd twice a week each. I can practice Advanced A on my day off taking it slowly to keep my breath focused, in fact 3rd seems even more suited to a Vinyasa Krama approach than Primary and Intermediate which tend to be driven forward by the vinyasa.


  1. hi Grimmly
    powerful stuff. wow. i have to come back on the weekend to review it.

  2. Oh I see you say (first part of A). I was going to ask you where the bind & lift is!!

    I haven't posted this pose because I can hardly ever bind the 2nd side by myself. For awhile this summer, when back with Chris post John, I was getting it regularly on my own. I got it Monday this week, but not Tuesday. Yesterday of course I chose to remain in bed rather than practice.

    We'll see about later today. I feel like doing absolutely nothing but I really should do my 3rd / 4th, even if it's half hearted.

  3. You don't have to always practice yoga this way. You can sometimes practice yoga this way. Or never. Or always. It's up to you.

  4. hi Grimmly
    that VA looks difficult. i can't say i've ever attempted it. oh, but that is beyond 3rd series, isn't it? (will have to look at my guides) i kind of accepted TM's dictum that if one started yoga in one's 40s one needn't worry about poses beyond 3rd. i imagine there are poses of advanced a and b that one can do, but maybe not the sequence.

  5. I like my new approach Arturo, just slot some of those later poses into Primary and Intermediate. There are some nice asana mixed up with the 'demo' poses, some beautiful ones that I really want to practice.

    I don't think it's necessarily an age thing. I'm 46 but managed fine with Advanced A managing to keep pretty much on the count. Though of course with some variations on some of the flexibility asanas. I practiced with the Gannon DVD too, Primary, Intermediate and 3rd one after the other without a break and it was fine, Just strength and fitness. Think your probably fine with the later series through your 50's as well as your 40's.

    That said their might be a gender issue. perhaps men are physicaly more suited to the arm balances, as a rule. I know Kino said she struggled for ten years or so with the 'strength' poses. How many woman get put off i wonder by that run of arm balances in 3rd, even Karanda and Mayurasana in 2nd. I read somewhere that a hell of a lot more Women practice primary than Men but that it evens out in intermediate. however supposedly more men progress to 3rd series than Woman. Wonder if that's true.



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