|I'm guessing another Paul Brunton Photo of Krishnamacharya|
7am is the cut off point, wherever I happen to be in the series I'll stop there and move on to finishing,
7:30 Pranayama, 8:00 pratyahara and meditation, don't need to leave the house for work until nine.
If I manage to get on the mat by 6am then I can do a full practice, any earlier and I can add some more longer stays and the odd variation or repeat. later than 6 and I wield the knife.
I always aim to get on the mat at 5:30 (I wake up at five, Cuban espresso, make M's lunch etc).
I find I have little interest recently in looking beyond 2nd (could quite happily stick with Primary up to kapo I think), was fun exploring Advanced A and B, learning the slinky asanas but I don't have much interest in practicing them at the moment, well perhaps a couple where they're an obvious extension of something in Primary or 2nd if I have the time.
It feels like I have plenty of postures to be going on with, more than enough, more interested in exploring those a little further than collect more.
We go through phases, this one feels particularly healthy.
Wish I could be the same with books, feel like selling everything other than Aranya's Patanjali commentary and just work with that for a couple of years, but succumbed to Amazon and it's cheap 'used' element yet again, Avalon's The Serpent Power and Briggs' Gorakhnath and the Kanphata Yogis, couple of quid each, bargin.
Ramaswami wrote something interesting to me this week. I'd asked him for clarification re the breath, wanted to make sure I wasn't misrepresenting him in a post. I added the full comment to the Ujjayi post but this is the bit that's been dancing around in my mind, especially the last sentence (my highlighting).
"Even as Sri TK uses the terms rechaka kumbhaka and pura kumbhaka in asanas these may be considered as facilitators of the movements and postures and effect enhancers rather than pranayamas. Usually the term pranayama is used when the regular seated breathing exercise is practised. But Sri TK used breath judiciously to facilitate and enhance effects of asanas and vinyasas". Srivatsa Ramaswami
...'to facilitate and enhance the effects of asanas and vinyasas'.
I like that.
So I seem quite content to just work my way through Primary, employing some freemanology* in the asana, picking a different one or two each day to stay in longer, then just move on to pranayama etc.
There doesn't seem an issue any longer concerning whether I'm practicing Ashtanga or Vinyasa Krama, early of late Krishnamacharya. I seem to have slipped into a frame of mind where the distinctions no longer seem to matter, they all appear to have merged into each other somehow. If look I can see the early and late focus of Krishnamacharya's teaching in Ashtanga, not explicit but there all the same and thus able to be brought out a little and I've always thought Ashtanga was a Vinyasa Krama practice anyway, Primary and 2nd especially. In fact my Vinyasa Krama practices always ended up looking like ashtanga, especially when tight for time.
All it takes is just a little flexibility, some elbow room and perhaps to have been practicing long enough that you can relax into the practice a little more, practice calmly and give the breath it's due.
And as for archeology, fascinating but in the end it probably doesn't matter, there is something marvellous here even if it was merely a glorious accident of time, place and circumstance.
Blog strikes me recently me as revealing a relationship with a practice, a getting to know...
*Freemanology (my word) : Richard Freeman's approach to asana, exploring,...following, the breath, directing it, the attention, here and/or there, savouring......rather than being so concerned about how to get into a posture, more about where to go once your in it.
While I'm talking about the practice I was thinking too that there perhaps should be that pause, an intake and letting out of the breath before getting on the mat. Always an act of will and intention perhaps, isn't that what make it a discipline, a ......ritual(?) with it's many connetations.
Tapas (austerities)?A little yes, but too much of a tapas focus to practice isn't ideal perhaps. Patanajali writes about alternative ways (alternatives to yoga i.e.. concentration) to reach a degree of samadhi. Tapas is placed there alongside drugs, he's a bit dismissive no?
4.1 The subtler attainments come with birth or are attained through herbs, mantra, austerities or concentration.
(janma osadhi mantra tapah samadhi jah siddhyayah) From Swamiji's online YS