I'm posting the video here, A. because it's beautifully produced, gotta love the black and white and B. because of the Kapo approach and drop back/return towards the end of the video, interesting.
Hmmm, it won't allow embedding but here's the link. The kapo is at 5:43 and the dropback at 6:37
Now this guy has a fantastic practice, controlled, focused, disciplined, incredibly stable and yet he drops back raising the heels and comes up with splayed feet. Shock horror! But watch how he does it, how slow, how controlled, really quite something to see.
We get so wrapped up with how our asana are supposed to be performed, the different schools resorting to conflicting anatomical arguments to defend their traditional approach and making us oh so self conscious in the process. My main asana teacher was common sense and, touch wood, in three years, I haven't had any injuries despite exploring many, quite advanced, asana. Obviously, if you practice within a particular school then your obliged to practice their way, under their roof, but if not then your probably fine going with common sense. Worry about the breath and let the asana take care of itself (he says buckling up his flak suit expectantly).
It's just asana, god, how long did that take to sink in. It's why the thought of Bikram getting his Yoga asana championships into the Olympics doesn't bother me in the least. OK, the make-up bothers me but that's about it.
Does anyone try Yoga because they're interested in Yoga? I suspect people take up yoga because they're interested, at first, in a particular style of asana practice or in getting fit or perhaps because they heard Madonna did it. I, myself, picked up a book from the library to complement my meditation practice by getting a little fitter and healthier. For the first couple of years I thought Yoga and Asana were the same thing. It's not Yoga that's going to be judged at the Olympics just as it's not Bushido that's being judged in Karate or Judo competitions. I have an Aikido and Iaido background by the way and confess that we used to look down our noses in a similar way at competition Karate
So it was a pleasure to come across a blog this morning by someone who practices Bikram yoga and is so clearly passionate about their practice. It might not be my kind of thing, I'm not into heat and being so used to practicing alone I don't think I would take well to the dialogue, but I'm tired of reading about how many Rolls Royce's Bikram has or who he is or isn't suing. Just made a nice change to hear about Bikram in the context of someone loving their practice.