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

NEWS:

New R. Saraswathi Resource page at the top of the blog to join those for Sharath R. Jois, Manju Jois, Pattabhi Jois, Krishnamacharya and Srivatsa Ramaswami.

Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 my year in posts

Wasn't planning on doing one of these this year but every other blog I open seems to have one which got me looking at the one I wrote last year 2010 my year in posts. That was just a list of the blog post for the year, can't really do that this time as I have 90 odd VK Subroutine posts for my Vinyasa Yoga Practice Book. Still, can't help looking back and noticing a few posts I liked and besides, I wanted to get an idea of what happened with my practice this year.

January (18 Posts)
I wrote a post on Plans for 2011 lets see...

Mysore? Nope
Rolf in Goa? Nope
KYM? Nope
Heidegger's hut in the black forest? Almost but nope
Sicily? Again, not this year, difficult with the Chinchilla though did manage a mini break to Athens to see our old Philosophy professor.
Heidegger and Yoga blog? Started it but never saw the light of day.
Consolidate 2nd? Didn't I just write the same thing yesterday?
Advanced series with David Williams' poster? Guess so but for three postures and only really practiced Advanced B a couple of times as a series so don't think it counts.
Putting together a poster of the Vinyasa krama sequences? If I only knew ...turned out to be a book rather than a poster.
Get back into chanting? yes....but then no, dropped off again.
Clean my manduka? yes , of course.....couple of times.

Feburary (16 posts)
I'd forgotten this, I wrote a post Yoga injury in February about a back injury playing up, an old one from my pizza throwing days that I seemed to reawaken when I fell off my bike. So that was in Feburary, I've been in pain ever since, every practice (affects forward bending more than backbends), and for the last month I haven't been able to do much in the morning, just beginning to show some signs of improvement. So it's been a year...perhaps I should see somebody about it... but I'm English...don't like to be a bother. That post led to my painkiller poll post 

End of the month, First time coming up without turning the feet out.

March (14 posts)
The whole month seemed to get taken over by the silly discussion of Kino's shorts, Yogi's! put some clothes on and the blogosphere turned a little sour as everyone took sides, not our finest hour, probably led to me deciding to take a break from blogging with the warmer weather was on it's way, Gone Fishing. Looking at the pictures in that post I'd been practicing a lot of the Advanced series.

Was away from blogging a week. Back so soon? Interestingly I've been thinking about taking a break from blogging over the last couple of weeks, might as well not bother.

April (19 posts)
April started with a Mea Culpa as I realised how tatty my primary had become with all the tweaking and mixing of styles. This was as a result of Practising along with Sharath, back when he did that live feed from Encinitas. I captured the stream and practiced along with it every morning for a month.

May (27 posts)
An Ashtanga focus by the look of it, the month dominated by the tictak challenge

The Namarupa : Richard Schechner's notebook on his studies with Krishanamacharya that came out at the end of the month was a highlight.

..as was, I'm ashamed to say, for me anyway, my Completely pointless yoga party trick # 7 : Lotus without hands

June (23 posts)
When a blog post comes back to bite you : 108 Dropback challenge, AC reminded me of the 108 drop back challenge. Managed it a week or two later, the speeded up video is here Summer Solstice : 108 dropbacks. UPDATE

Seems to be around here that I started to look again at yoga philosophy, What is practice and how does it become well established? a thread that started here with the yoga sutras and led to the Gita as it was. I think what I forgot, missed or failed to understand for a while, was that Ramaswami had a strong Yoga Sutra focus, Raja yoga and that the asana, the pranayama practice were very much in the service of that, an integrated practice.

Ashtanga strikes me more now as having a Hatha yoga focus in the sense of Hatha Yoga Pradipika , the Raja yoga is almost put to one side for a while, work on your hatha and then when your ready, when you've been through the threshing floor you can start to think about Raja yoga. That's not a criticism, there's a strong argument there.

July (17 posts)
First time practicing 4th as a series seems a long time ago now.

Our beloved Claudia's book came out Book review : 21 Things to know before starting an ashtanga practice ...plus Blogs 3rd Birthday

Would I be welcome at your Shala? was related to the Norman Blair article The Box

I launched my Vinyasa Krama Blog, Launching my NEW blog : Practicing Vinyasa Krama Yoga at Home figured Ashtangi's weren't always that interested in the VK posts and those coming to VK not really up on the Ashtanga intertextuality.

Oh and I got my heels back in kapo after three months, nice to know it'll come back, only managed my toes yesterday. This was at the hotel in Wales where I went for a week and Practiced all the Vinyasa Krama sequences Holiday practice update

August (25 posts)
Hit by the 2nd series truck

Stories : Saxophones to Yoga mats

My favourite blog post from the whole blog not just this year Yoga, it aint Rocket Science

Liked the Yoga Bookshelves post, feel free to keep sending them in.

Seemed to be practising mostly vinyasa krama, working at exploring the rhythm of the practice with Mingus Mingus Mingus

Kapo ankles back thanks to Vinyasa Krama Bow sequence

September (23 posts)
Cured the back pain for a couple of weeks with pasasana

Spent a lot of time this month reading the original 84 verse version of the Gita without all the god stuff The Original Gita. No Surrender! ( Updated with the original Gita? ) as it was and the Original yoga sutras

I also started work on my Vinyasa Krama Practice book, started off as just the sequences, then all the subroutines for the 2nd edition and now I'm just finishing off the last of the practice notes for each subroutine to be published for free download in a week or two. So many resources for Ashtangi's that I wanted to put something out there that might be helpful for anyone struggling with Ramaswami's book and turning it into a viable home practice.

October (51 posts)
The practice notes for the book take up most of the year, amusing to see that while my page hits dropped off there was a huge hike when I posted an old Sharath video. other hikes tend to be when I post on backbends or jump backs : ) Should have added google advertising back when I started this blog and didn't post about much else, could have made a fortune.

Did find time to posit the question Is Ashtanga compatible with Vinyasa Krama?

and look at how I've jumped back and forth between the two like  ...a ridiculous Mexican Soap Opera

November (52 posts)
I was asked What books influenced your yogic and/or spiritual Life ? I should come back to this, there are books that I would recommend must have a think about that and post something in the new year.

Some improvement in backbends, Raja kapotasana, first toes to head followed quickly by Ganda Bherundasana : first toes to head... and a tentative new project. and I have penguin feet : first drop back without lifting heels PLUS Heather Morton's back bending DVD

Started a Samakonasana Challenge and managed to touchdown but it seemed to play havoc with my badha konasana so have put it on hold, perhaps I rushed it.

A rare talkie, on How to do headstands

December (55 posts)
Started to thin about my Ashtanga practice this month Working out the lift into Upavishta Konasana B which led to YOGA MALA: '...we keep tearing pages out there'll be nothing left' and Full Vinyasa

Wake up call - The hidden arm balance series made me notice how weak I've become recently with my fancy-trick free Primary and focus on pranayama in  my VK practice as well as a general lack of discipline in my practice and no doubt as a result, life in general Nearly the end of the year....  I'm still practicing, still twice a day but it all feels a little ...slack, let things slip a little. And so 2nd series, nice to see you again. Nothing focusses the mind like 2nd series.
---------------------------------------------------------------
So the year seems to end where it began, with the desire to tidy up and consolidate my 2nd series practice,

Ashtanga only seems possible with full commitment.Vinyasa Krama allows for more flexibility, a shorter asana practice in favour of a stronger pranayama and meditation focus, you can get away with that. If I'm still going to practice Ashtanga, and it seems it's still my practice, then I just have to get on and practice it as it is. 2nd series, five days a week with a Primary on Friday does seem to be the only way to go about it.

Despite  the odd hike in visits when I post on backbends, jump backs, Kino or Sharath or the drop off when I post on Vinyasa Krama there does seem to be a number of regular readers who seem to put up with or make allowances for whatever nonsense I go off on. Never sure how to read the stats, by google analytics it seems there ranges from 300 to 400  visitors a day, Blogger has it at 700 to 800 page views, no idea what all that means but thank you to everyone who visits and comments even when it's to give me a hard time.

I especially love that I get so many visitors from all over the world, I don't tend to look at the stats that much but I love the feedjit widget down on the bottom right of the blog and seeing all the different flags. I know language can be a problem if English isn't your first language, I was an English teacher for a number of years. My apologies if my posts are confusing sometimes. Perhaps if you don't want to write or ask a question in the public comment box, please feel free to send me an email or get in touch through FB.

Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see more of here, a posture you struggle with or some aspect of the practice, can only say how I've approached it, what's worked for me but often somebody else will chip in with a comment on something perhaps more useful.

Happy New Year.


Sun nien fai lok
Xin nian yu kuai
Godt Nytår
Gelukkig nieuwjaar
Aide shoma mobarak
Bonne année
Aith-bhliain Fe Nhaise Dhuit
Gutes Neues Jahr
Hauoli Makahiki Hou
HShanah tovah
Nav Varsh Ki Badhaai/ Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Nyob zoo xyoo tshiab
IElamat Tahun Baru
Buon Capo d'Anno
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu
Godt Nyttår
Maligayang Bagong Taon
Nowego roku
Feliz ano novo
La Multi Ani
S Novym Godom
Feliz Año Nuevo
Wilujeng Tahun Baru
Gott Nytt År
Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Gelukkige nuwejaar / voorspoedige nuwejaar
Gëzuar vitin e ri
честита нова година (chestita nova godina)
šťastný nový rok
kali chronia / kali xronia eutichismenos o kainourgios chronos (we wish you a happy new year)
boldog új évet
zhana zhiliniz kutti bolsin
Selamat Tahun Baru
 Xin Nian Kuai Le (新年快乐)



Appologies if I've missed anyone out or written it out incorrectly

...and so to practice (2nd).

8 comments:

  1. I did a big post today and was going through your blog as well, the one on the pain killers was really interesting, for me it was a surprise that so many said no, never!

    I only now looked at the yoga bookshelf one, very nice, was totally sick when it came up, barely remember it in between hallucinations... cool one!

    Thanks for the beloved thingy... I am grateful your book is coming together too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Claudia, had a quick look at yours before running off to the Dentist (giant filling fell out christmas eve) going to have another look now. yes still looking forward to your yoga bookshelf picture, no excuse now your better : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. You said requests? More talkies Grimm. You are the kind of teacher that relaxes the student into dwelling in possibilities.
    Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Any requests?! Just keep practicing and questioning, and posting about it all! Can't always agree with what you're saying, but who cares?! It's always interesting ... :)

    (And being a single-minded ashtangi, I always have a little smirk on my face when you suddenly 'find' the ashtangi part of your practice again!!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. 'You are the kind of teacher that relaxes the student into dwelling in possibilities.' i think that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me Serene, thank you for that. More talkies... I did one on lotus earlier in the week but it was dreadful, will have another go...anything in particular, hope you don't want me chatting away through Kapo : )

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you too Susie and for coming back and not writing me off after a post you don't agree with...hell I'm not sure i agree with half the stuff I post, tend to chuck it up there and see what I think a day or two down the line.

    Can imagine a collective HA every time I come back to my Alma Mata. Prodigal son and all that

    ReplyDelete
  7. Haha! No taking during Kapo, even I know that is sadistic. I am however very interested in a Lotus tutorial. I tried to follow your hip rotation advice printed onscreen with some success, but I think I'm more of a see and hear kind of learner.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Will have another go at the lotus talkie, i thought the text was perhaps tricky to visualise especially with the all the left leg this right thigh that..

    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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