Tuesday, 3 August 2010

From the practice diary

I've been keeping a practice diary since I came back from the VK TT course and plan on posting them backdated. They'll just appear between past posts, I'll make a label which will bring them all up in order. It should show how I'm approaching my VK practice and how it retains a basic structure while alternating through the different subroutines. Until I get around to that, here's today's practice

Tadasana p.1
Just the key/essential daily vinyasas. Below is a highly edited version of that taken from the full sequence which can be found here (pre course). Just bought a secondhand HD camera which should arrive tomorrow, I want to record all the subroutines (see list bottom of blog), as I remember them from the course.

Dropbacks x 5

Triangle Element p.147
Usual key vinyasas I tend to do Uttita trikonasana, Parivritta Trikonasana, Uttita Parsva konasana and Prasarita Padottanasana daily occasionally adding something different

On one leg element p87
Uttita Padangustasana subroutine, *Natajarasana

Asymmetric Element p.35
This morning it was Tiryang mukkha ekapadasana subroutine inc. the hybrid Marichi version, *Hanumanasana, *Eka pada raja kapotasana. Mahamudra *Eka pada sirsasana subroutine

Seated element p.71
10 min Paschimottanasana, Upavishta konasana subroutine, Kukkutasana, *Dwi pada sirsasana Supta Kurmasana, *Yoga nidra

Shoulderstand prep p.122
Apanasana (pelvic lift)
U- formation (arms and legs raised while supine)
Dwipadpitam (Desk pose)

Shoulderstand 5mins p.123
Dropping back into uttana mayurasana as a counterpose

Headstand 10 minsp.161
inc. some lotus variations

Shoulderstand 5 mins p.123
inc. some leg to flour infrount and behind vinyasas.

feet together UD as counterpose

Lotus element p.189
didn't write these down and I kind of forget but yoga mudra etc

Kapalabhati 108

Viloma ujaii

Pratyahara 3min

Mantra meditation 15 min

Came out at about 2 1/2 hours

* I've put a star against some of the more challenging postures, if they are a bit much you could leave them out or slip in something else, possibly a couple of the postures in the book leading up to them.

Evening practice

Asana 15 min
Sury namaskaras with handstands, Arm balances etc

Pranayama 30min
Nadi Shodana with pranayama mantra

Pratyahara 3 min

Meditation 30 min

I should point out that today was my day off. Depending on what time I manage to get up and how much faffing about I do in the morning, practice might be half hour less. To make the practice above shorter just drop some of the postures from the different sections (some of the more challenging postures perhaps) or do less repeats (we tend to repeat a posture two or more times in Vinyasa karma staying for a number of breaths on the second or third entry). Ramaswami would encourage you to maintain a long stay in paschimottanasana, shoulderstand and headstand and adapt the rest of the practice around those postures.


  1. You're a busy-bee. Do you have another 10 mins (incl. prep) for a Neti practice?

    Laruga's recent post inspired me to do so, and it's awesome.

    NB: Just had a scatty observation. The 'word verification' thingy at the bottom of the comment box recently seem to be phonetically related to yoga. Today it's 'crear'. Bizarre!

  2. Hi Steve was my day off yesterday so practice was perhaps half hour longer, depends on what time I get up. I try to get on the mat 5:30-8 but sometimes i don't make it till 6.
    One of the good things, of course, about home practice is that you just get up, go downstairs and your on the mat, don't lose time getting too and from the shala

    I used to use a nrti pot regularly now I only use it if i'm particularly blocked up, perhaps if I was working in a city I'd feel the need to use it more. Had a bunch of times too where I thought i'd got all the water out but as soon as I did my first forward bend or handstand in Sury water would start coming out of my nose

  3. Practice times are varied with me. I love the buzz you get, all day, after a morning practice, but I also like the extra depth that seems to come with an evening practice. If I'm spoiling myself, I like to just sit on the floor for an hour before getting on the mat, and then chill for an hour before undertaking any form of commitment (like work), so that consumes 4 hours in total. Sadly, that's not often possible, but all things considered I must be doing something right because it feels like it's really taken off lately.

    The down side, for me, of not getting to a teacher too often, is that the sticking points become very long affairs (I won't let myself skip as I think it always bites you later). As you might recall, I've been stuck at Pasasana for 2 years, unless I'm adjusted however, it is getting very close now (2 finger binds etc.). Many people don't like the 'gate posture' approach in Ashtanga, but I do now because while I've been working on it as the last posture of my practice, I've gone through so many bodily structural changes doing primary for so long. It feels amazing. When I got into yoga, unknowingly, my trunk must've been as rigid as an old oak but now, it's all good. Most days every posture feels like an easy-chair. Phew! Sorry about the essay. Another side-effect of not getting to a shala is that I've become a blog-junkie.


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from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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