For the last couple of years, since discovering Vinyasa krama, I've been writing about spending more time in a poses, taking longer and slower breathes, retaining the exhale, taking up residence in a posture.
And yet still there's this....
This is the twist in triangle pose on my Vinyasa Krama Sequences and Subroutines webpage. It's OK, I enter the posture a couple of times before coming into it for a longer stay and and then take a number of long slow breaths.
I rush into it though, turn lower and twist all on one exhalation.
Ramaswami is very clear in his book, as practiced in Vinyasa Krama, this posture has three distinct steps.
'You can see that the movement from the trikonasana position and the final posture is made in three distinct steps' The Complete Bool of Vinyasa yoga p150
Whats the rush? We get fixated on the final posture, even in styles of yoga where the movement in and out of the postures play such an important role, it's hard to slow it down. In Ashtanga I have to remind myself to slow the upward and downward dogs after the the jump back, remember to keep the breath at the same rate as when in the posture.
Here it's even slower. We raise our arms on the exhalation take our inhalation and then turn on the long exhale, inhale and then on the next exhalation lower half way, staying there for another inhalation before turning, again on the exhalation and finally settling into the posture. The exit is the same but in reverse unwinding on the inhalation, pausing for the exhalation before straightening on the inhalation, pause again for another exhalation then turn to the front on the final inhalation.
That's four breaths in and four breaths out of the pose, then there's the 2-6 breaths while in the final posture, that's fourteen but then we have the reverse twist, another fourteen. I clock the video below at a little over eight minutes and to be honest my breathing could have been, perhaps should have been, a lot slower.
What's the rush
The same tips for keeping the knees safe apply here as from yesterdays uttita trikonasana
- Press down the opposite foot to the side your bending but also the inside of the foot on the side your bending in to, from the heel all the way to the big toe.
- The more stable the base the more protected the knees, pushing down into the mat takes some of the stress off the knees.
- really stretch out of your hips before beginning your bend and keep stretching up along both sides of your body. The tendency is to stretch the outside and collapse the inside, stretch through both.
- Breathe, strong ujjayi.
- Engage bandhas
and one more comes to mind...
- push your backside out as you take that breath in forward bend just as in the half forward bend in the On the feet sequence so as to protect your back.
Here's a reminder of the breathing
Going into the posture
turn on the exhale
lower on the exhale
twist on the exhale
Stay for 3-6 breathes
Exiting the posture
Raise and unwind to horizontal on the inhale
lift up straight on the inhale
turn back to the front on the inhale.
Watching the video back I notice I'm bunching up a little, bringing my shoulders chest up shortening my neck, probably a result of raising the arms, i need to watch out for that, raise my arms but relax my shoulders, bad habit.
and is one arm/shoulder a little higher than the other......?
NB: These are practice notes that will be tidied up and put into the new edition of my Vinyasa Yoga Practice Book along with the current sequences and subroutines. The book can be freely downloadedHERE. There is a page on Facebook HERE with all the latest sheets and updates. This book is in no way a substitute for Ramaswami's Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga.