“One of my goals in life is to do the slowest Primary Series anywhere… rather than the quickest”. Richard Freeman

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Practice or lack of it in Athens : UPDATED

Back from Athens.

Whatdimiss?

Practice was limited (didn't feel too bad had saved up a Rest and Moon day from last week), did manage to do a full Primary on the balcony one morning as  the sun was coming up, the acropolis over my right shoulder, one of my all time favourite practices. So that's what it's like doing it outside. Managed a little Vinyasa Krama, some Pranayama but not so much, looking forward to getting my evening VK practice back on track this week.




Also found small salt lake that's supposed to be a bit of a Spa, nice buoyancy, good for pulling into a no hands lotus. 
Seems they have the Red Bull cliff diving championship there and were setting up for it,  the day we were there, practice dives etc.. Thankfully we missed the crowds.

Wonder if these guys do some yoga.


There's a moment ( 30 seconds into the video ) when Orlando, the guy with the broken ankle and championship leader up to that point, hops along and looks up at the cliff. That was recorded the day we were there, took them a few takes to get just the right wistful expression on his face as he looked up at the platform.

...and of course I couldn't help myself. M was most disapproving when I suggested a headstand on the Acropolis.









 ...and so to home practice, in my own space, looking forward to it despite the aches, pains and cramps from too much walking

UPDATE
Practice was hard, aching all over from walking miles and miles over the last couple of days. Interestingly all the swimming, while making my arms and shoulders ache, seems to have increased strength and I floated up to handstand in a couple of Sury's. Yes I know Sharath scoffed at this, but then Ashtanga doesn't include a full prostration in it's Sury, so excuse me if I treat the scoffing with a wry smile. I dropped the playful handstand a while back but have added a couple again since working on the tictac.

Nice to practice though, detoxing all the Saganaki and Ouzo, feel better for it.

Might keep up the swimming, couple of times a week, not so much for the handstand but just for the general all over good feeling, seems to complement Ashtanga well, anyone else find this?

I'm thinking a week of straight primary then go back to adding on 2nd up to Kapo then Karanda for a month before starting a month of Led 2nd series with the Jois Yogaworks DVD.

14 comments:

  1. Yogi Anthony....:)

    Wonderful.

    Me, too, I love it to do asanas at every place on that earth.
    Welcome back, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Welcome back! we missed you... that picture in the water is classic!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice color pictures.. woot woot! Did you get any spectators? Hope you had an awesome trip!

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  4. Swimming and yoga? Weren't you complaining about having big lats not so long ago? Swimming is lats central!

    I used to swim 2-3 times a week and do yoga daily - dropped it in the end as was too knackered to do that and work (although was the lightest I've been since my teens - swimming is a great fat-burner). Good things about swimming too are the lack of impact, and the fact that it works most of the muscle groups.

    Bad things are that unless your technique is very good (mine isn't, and unless you've been taught by someone who knows their stuff, as with most things, I think most people do have bad technique) you end up making any imbalances worse, so working one side more than the other (easy to do in crawl and backstroke), overworking in some area while not using something you should (suspect most true of difficult technique strokes like breast and butterfly), etc.

    My personal impression is that swimming worked against yoga, in tightening some of the bits I wanted to loosen - lower back, hips, shoulders - but I don't have empirical proof of this. In the end, it depends on your objectives I suppose - if you need more aerobic exercise, and can deal with it perhaps taking the edge off the yoga, then that's fine.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Ursula, Claudia, yes, really nice trip Yyogini.

    Hadn't thought about the lat issue Anon. you make a good point about bad technique doing more harm than good. As with probably most of us i wasn't taught how to swim , just chucked in the water so have lousy technique I'm sure, probably why my shoulders ache.

    Was thinking more of the joy of being in the water I guess and a general loosening up rather than as exercise.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I swim one to three times a week, but I'm lucky enough to have had a fair bit of training at a young age, so I'm fairly sure I'm not creating imbalances as Anon suggests. Though I definitely hear you on the shoulders, it doesn't help with the 'scrunchiness' I get there.

    Regarding the back, I'm actually finding that now my back bends have stepped up (I recently started working on hang backs with my teacher) I really feel my lower back being stretched and eased as I swim. Like Grimmly, it's usually more about loosening up than an aerobic workout, though sometimes I push myself to do a certain distance in a certain time.

    I personaly don't feel like it directly effects my yoga much either way, and I wouldn't know whether my lats are any bigger. But the combination of Ashtanga and swimming has definitely left its mark on my upper body. I may never have the infamous man arms, but my shoulders are definitely on the masculine side already!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice!! Missed your blog posts!

    I hope to be practicing on a balcony somewhere in HK facing the harbor on the 26th floor soon enough :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear Grimmly
    I a headstand with the acropolis in the background would be superb, but if M. disapproves, OK, no. Hey I hope you don't mind I posted one of your videos on kapotasana. My computer is in transition to getting stuff installed, so I'm borrowing from different places this week.
    Cheers,
    Arturo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Me again - I hear you on the joy of being in the water, and the weightlessness. I miss that sometimes. Never tried the Iyengar hanging thing, but I guess it's sort of similar?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Different anon here. I like to swim when I can for similar reasons, and it can really be fabulous with ashtanga. The key is not to overdo it-then you get sore.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for commenting on this ragdoll, loosening up is more what I'm after and just to be in the water. Some lessons but be a good idea, tidy my technigque up a bit.

    Thanks Cory, enjoy your balcony practice. M used to live in Hong Kong, loved living so high up, be nice to practice all the way up there.

    Guess it would have been a bit embarrassing Arturo, should have gone up there earlier when there were less people. very welcome to my kapo, help yourself to anything. mines pretty lame at the moment going to have to work at getting it back.

    thanks diffAnon but you know how lousy Ashtangi's are at not overdoing something but then how much damage can I do in a lunch hour.

    ReplyDelete
  12. diffanon here again
    yes I know. I want to swim for hours when i get going but I find 40-45 min is kind of a safe cut off. Lunch hour is good for boundaries, and I think 3 times a week is kind of reasonable. 4 would be enough. When I swim for an hour and a half i usually regret it. Maybe that's part of the practice--trying to keep the ashtanga while doing different things that feel good for body and soul, and trying to find balance, not overdoing things.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well, that's an old post but being a Greek and living in Athens I want to tell you how much I love your photos, especially the ones in Vouliagmeni Lake. :)

    Namaste,

    Olympia
    http://journeytoatmanashtangayoga.blogspot.gr/

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Olympia, thanks for commenting nice to be reminded of this post and Athens. I have a couple of other posts on here somewhere on my recent trip to Santorini. Just popped over to your blog quickly (added it to my blog list) and see your a Nikos Kazantzakis fan, same here, Zorba of course but also the Odyssey book, Greko (possibly my favourite), St Francis I loved, Last Testament obviously ...haven't read the book you mention though, will have to get hold of a copy, I was lucky enough to read Zorba the first time while living in a cave in Crete (Falasarna), nice memories.

    ReplyDelete

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A Reminder

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
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