and here's the 2nd series
- My Workshops and Books on Krishnamacharya's Original Ashtanga Practice and Vinyasa Krama yoga
- Free Downloads
- Ashtanga History
- Asana Lists Inc. Original 1974 Ashtanga Syllabus
- Ashtanga Rishi Series
- Yoga Makaranda Part I and II
- Yogasanagalu (translation project)
- Krishnamacharya resource page
- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois - Resources
- Manju Pattabhi Jois Resource
- Srivatsa Ramaswami Vinyasa Krama Resource page
- VINYASA KRAMA sequences/subroutines
- Ashtanga Workshops Reviews
- Guest Posts.
- Mysore rooms around the world
- Chanting Yoga Sutras
- Developing a home practice
- On Ashtanga Practice
Krishnamacharya's original Ashtanga.
Pattabhi Jois talked in interviews, as well as when writing in Yoga Mala, that if we had less time we should practice less asana. In my own practice time is an issue. I prefer to breathe more slowly in the asana and vinyasas, lengthening my inhalation and exhalation, "slow like the pouring of oil" as Krishnamacharya puts it in Yoga Makaranda. I like to explore kumbhaka and the occasional extended stay, in Mudras especially. I also prefer to practice, much of the time, with my eyes closed, employing internal drishti at different vital focal points and I like to introduce vinyasas, extra preparatory asana on days when they feel appropriate as well as perhaps extending an asana into more challenging, 'proficient' forms on the more flexible days, in keeping perhaps with the idea of groups of asana rather than fixed sequences. I like to practice Pranayama before and after my asana practice as well as finishing my practice with a 'meditative activity'. I was first introduced to Yoga through the Ashtanga sequences and I still maintain that general structure in my main practice but I would rather sacrifice half or more than half a sequence than these other factors and perhaps practice the asana ‘missed’ in the following days, I still consider this to be Ashtanga, the 'original' Ashtanga of Krishnamacharya.
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
and here's the 2nd series
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
'Recently unearthed footage from Tom Sewell's old Hi8 camera is being added to his current library of ashtanga videos shot on location all around the world featuring Sri K. Pattabhi Jois & his students. Guruji's teachings are being made accessible to you at: www.mauiyoga.com'
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Friday, 24 February 2012
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
'... Sanskrit chants I learnt from Sri Krishnamacharya and more' Ramaswami's chanting available on Sangeetha
'Between 1980 and 1995 I recorded for a recording company “Sangeetha” many Sanskrit chants I learnt from Sri Krishnamacharya and more. During my recent visit to Chennai I talked to H M Krishna a partner of the firm and he said that they were about to make available online about 18 of my titles—hope it works out.
A list of my programs is available, in the following site. Open the site and type Srivatsa Ramaswami in the search window for the complete list. You may click on individual titles for more info on each program. The total chant time of all the program may be about 30 hrs. I hope they will be able to organize the on line downloading soon'.
|This is what you should see.|
Ramaswami just passed on some suggestions
'If you like vedic chanting then Suryanamaskara, Taittiriya Upanishad, Mahanarayana Upanishad and vedic chanting contained in adityahridayam and indrakshi cds will be nice to hear. I would also prefer listening to Rudram chamakam from the cd that came originally with "CBVK" book. Then one may want to study the meaning and commentaries, especially the upanishads apart from making an attempt to chant oneself. More religiously oriented people in India like to listen to Vishnu sahasranama, Lalita sahasranama. Others whose ishta devata (favorite deity) may choose the other sahsranamas like Ganesa, Siva, Durga, Gayatri, Anjaneya etc.,and if you have the patience the ten hour long Sundara Kanda from th Ramayana. Since many have their own meter and rhythm some like to chant or listen to these non vedic or laukika chants'.
|Ramaswami's first recording concerned the Yoga sutras|
|This one from the Ramayana|
'Svadhyaya, or chanting, is an important aspect of kriyayoga and astanga yoga of patanjali. In the course of my training (over 30 years), my guru spent perhaps as much time on chanting and theoretical studies (svadhyaya) as on the physical aspect of yoga' p18.
Guruji ( Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois ) Singing (and discussing/explaining) The Upansihads at Chateau Renault, France 1991
Thursday, 16 February 2012
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
*If anyone has a translation of the yogasanagalu or at least a summery I would love to see it, my email can be found in the ABOUT ME section of this blog.
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
A heads up: My NYT, 'Yoga wrecks your body' response on elephant journal UPDATE: William J Broad's 'The Science of yoga' reviews
Hey NYT, my body was wrecked before yoga on elephant
This was suggested to me after I put up the blog post a couple of weeks back and I felt strongly enough about it to send the post off to their editor to see if they wanted it (we'd talked last year about me submitting something but I never got around to sending anything in).
The original article, that this is kind of a response to was a provocative piece How yoga can wreck your body in the New York Times magazine, no doubt designed to drum up interest in it's own Science correspondent William J. Broad's book “The Science of Yoga: The Risks and Rewards that was being published the following week. Plus of course a provocative piece sells copy. The UK press, no doubt noticing that the NYT article went viral, came up with their own provocative piece, this one from the Telegraph 'Green' yoga teachers could Kill. My response in elephant isn't denying the possibilities of injuries which are of course possible in any physical activity, whether it's a sport, a martial art, dance and/or as a result of poor teaching or lack of common sense, we should always be seeking to minimise the risk and and at least balance that risk with the rewards, my article seeks rather to refocus on the positive and the transformative. There are of course some legitimate reviews of Broads book now doing the rounds, this one from the LA Times for example who put their finger on this particular issue '...But his chapter on bizarre injuries will get the most attention'.
Anyway, Tanya wrote back to say she liked the idea and the title but could I develop the post a little more, turn it into an article. I cut and pasted a few things from those old Developing a home practice series of posts and their assistant editor, Soumyajeet Chattaraj has done a nice job of pulling it into shape and making it readable, thank you Soumyajeet (added a nice Calvin and Hobbes cartoon too).
I'd actually thought about about asking them to return the article and forget about it after the editorial intrusion on the recent Kino article 'Let her fall...' which I thought undermined Kino's article somewhat. I'd made a comment, on that which they seemed to think was unfair criticism, a difference of opinion but certainly worthy of comment I thought, never mind, no disrespect to Tanya was intended (who seems a lovely person by the way, going by the mail I received recently in relation to my article).
I still think the following is kind of an important point so glad they've gone ahead and published it.
'The curious thing was that I had not really noticed that I had got so out of shape, so unhealthy; and find it quite shocking looking back at the old photos now…how could I not know?
...I see guys on the street my age, perhaps younger than me—I am not talking about the clinically obese, but regular guys who probably believe they are no less healthy than the next guy. I am sure they think they should cut back on the drinking a little, eat a little better, or walk the dog more often; but that is probably not going to do it.
There needs to be a government campaign—one of those awareness-raising ads—that says, “Hang on a minute, you do not just need to lose the odd couple of pounds, you need to rethink how you are living your life”, and it is important because people are dying from this.
For me it was yoga, for them it might be something else—but it needs to be something and it needs to be encouraged and supported.'
Anyway, you can read the whole thing here
Hey NYT, my body was wrecked before yoga on elephant
me, I'm back off to the cave....honest.
Oh btw, my Vinyasa Yoga at Home Practice Book, I did one of Kindle's promotions yesterday, think it's still free until either midnight or midday tomorrow ETZ
UPDATE: A couple of reviews of William J. Broad's "The Science of Yoga" by Leslie Kaminoff and Mark Stephens from Amazon.com
When he's at his best, Broad does a great service to our field by throughly investigating the history of yoga research and reporting on the actual science that's available to either support or refute many of the claims that are commonly made about yoga's promises. Several of the myths that he exposes are ones that I have been trying to debunk for years. He also does a great job of documenting the evidence of yoga's benefits - for health, creativity and mental balance.
When he's at his worst, he's attempting to make his book more colorful by spinning speculative yarns about the personalities of his cast of characters. Most of them are long dead and cannot dispute Broad's assertions about their motivations, ambitions and ethics. However, some of his subjects are very much alive and I know for a fact that at least one of them takes extreme exception to the manner in which he was portrayed (full disclosure: I am referring to a good friend of mine).
Broad also loses his objectivity when, in chapter 4, he launches into the controversial issue of yoga injuries. I am the last person to deny that asana injuries happen quite regularly, as a significant part of my practice consists of helping practitioners who have sustained them. Nevertheless, the truly scary picture painted in this chapter is not based on any science that would pass Broad's own muster if he was reviewing it in the first 3 chapters of his book. He can cite no serious scientific studies done regarding the actual cause and frequency of severe injuries (stroke, pneumothorax, paralysis, etc.) because there are none. Instead, Broad reports on a handful of case studies dating back to the 70's, and some surveys of emergency room statistics. He then extrapolates from those numbers to conclude there must be a minimum of 300 strokes caused by yoga asanas per year. Any indication of how common these injuries are in the non-yoga practicing population? No. Any context for where asana practice ranks in relation to other "risky" activities (it's safer than golf)? No. Any mention of the fundamental logical rule that correlation is not causation? No. Is this good science? Hell no.
What becomes clear in his epilogue is that Mr. Broad is a man with an agenda. He wants yoga to gain more credibility and acceptance in mainstream health care delivery by medicalizing its educational standards and subjecting itself to governmental regulation (something I've been fighting against for the past 3 decades). This explains why he needed to build the case for yoga's riskiness, and why he felt compelled to unfairly and inaccurately portray the International Association of Yoga Therapists as a non-credible group with shady origins whose main agenda is to provide its members with "phony credentials." He even absurdly proposes the formation of a "Yoga Education Society" whose mission would be to collect information about yoga and disseminate it to the public - the exact same mission the IAYT has been splendidly fulfilling since its founding. Shameful.
Broad's misplaced faith in his own agenda, the medical model and in governmental controls has blinded him to the fact that much of yoga's popularity as a healing modality is precisely because we are an alternative to all that. We are not medical practitioners nor should we aspire to be. We are educators and should fight to remain so.
Nobody asked Mr. Broad to push for the medicalization, accreditation or licensing of yoga. He took it on himself to make a case for it, and its up to us as yoga professionals to show him that he's wrong by continuing to raise the standards of our educational programs, and by keeping our profession free from coercive forces of any kind. That is why I say it's important you read this book and then let your voice be heard.
Broad betrays a very limited reading of the classics, such as claiming that the legendary B.K.S. Iyengar never addresses risks in yoga poses, and confused knowledge of basic things like functional anatomy (as when he confuses hyperextension with hyper-flexion is his discussion of shoulder stand and cobra pose). So we can reasonably approach this book aware that we are being given a limited perspective buoyed by bombastic assertions certain to stoke controversy but not shed much helpful light on teaching and practicing yoga.
Broad's idea that "yoga can wreck your body" reifies yoga - makes it into a thing that is given the power to affect other things (say, your body). But yoga is not a thing. Rather, yoga is a world of practices that one can do; you do yoga, yoga does not do you. Once one gets this basic idea, then it's a simple step to realize that how one does yoga along with what sort of yoga one does will have different effects. If you skip over the first couple hundred pages of Iyengar's Light on Yoga (as Broad apparently did) to the few pages on shoulder stand, look at the pictures, read the brief instructions, then attempt to do it without all the preparation discussed in the previous two-hundred pages, then you're likely to end up like some in Broad's book who feel that yoga is hurting them. Forget for a moment, as Broad seemingly has, that Light on Yoga was written 50 years ago and that Iyengar has published extensively since then and given more nuanced guidance around things like how to reduce hyper-flexion of the cervical spine. That's not exactly responsible scholarship.
There is no question that many students (and teachers) are getting injured doing yoga, and Broad marshals some credible evidence to establish this fact. And he is right that yoga teachers need better training and ongoing support. Unfortunately, this book does little to inform the ongoing conversation about teaching, practicing, regulation and related issues.
Wednesday, 1 February 2012
February 2012 Newsletter from Srivatsa Ramaswami---Mantra Pranayama
After a four month stay in Chennai, India I am planning to come to USA
by middle of February. Thanks to the good efforts of Roxana Letechipia
who attended my last Teacher Training Program at LMU, Los Angeles, I
will be teaching three programs in Mexico City during the last week of
February. There will be two weekend workshops and a week long
certificate program, “Core Vinyasa Krama Yoga”. My next newsletter may
have a few Spanish words.
Considerable amount of literature is now available on Pranayama (from
ancient and contemporary yogis), an important anga of Yoga, even
though a smaller and smaller number of Hatha yogis do a smaller and
smaller number of pranayamas. In fact according to Brahmananda who
wrote an important commentary of Hathayogapradeepika, Hatha yoga is
indeed Pranayama. Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras succinctly gives the
parameters of pranayama along with the benefits. Hathayoga pradeepika
and several other hatha yohga texts talk about a variety of pranayamas
with different ratios in considerable detail and as I said enough
literature is available on pranayama. However since it is also the
anga prior to the antaranga or meditation, parts of yoga pranayama has
been used to prepare oneself for meditation. If in pranayama you can
introduce some noble thoughts for meditation like an uplifting mantra,
bhava thought or an image such pranayamas are called sagarbha
pranayama or pranayama pregnant with lofty ideas. Sri Krishnamacharya
in his “Nathamini's Yoga Rahasya” says that sagarbha pranayama is
several times more beneficial; more than the mechanical pranayama done
generally by hatha yogis.
Sagarbha pranayama done with pranayama mantra from the vedas, which
also includes the potent gayatri as a part of it, has been in vogue
since the vedic times. Sri Krishnamacharya in his yoga work
“Nathamuni's Yoga Rahasya” gives a number of instructions for doing
pranayama towards the end of the first chapter. He commends the use of
Pranava and the pranayama mantra with gayatri while doing pranayama
practice. Usually pranava (OM), the most potent mantra and the mother
of all mantras, as a stand alone mantra is used by renunciates like
consummate yogis and advaitins. And the gayatri impregnated vedic
pranayama mantra is used by householders and others in all pranayama.
In fact Manu in his famous Manusmriti says that the pranayama mantra
which consists of prnava, the seven vyahritis, the gayatri and the
head or siras portion should be recited while holding the breath in
Kumbhaka three times to be called as pranayama. Sri Krishnamacharya
also emphasizes the need to meditate on the meaning of the mantras
like the suggestion of Patanjali in YS.
Most people who do ritualistic pranayama in India use the pranayama
mantra referred to earlier. Manusmiti says as follows
“sa vyahritim sa pranavaam
gayatriim sirasa saha
trifpateth ayataf pranah
Here is the translation“Pranayama is that in which the seven vyahritis
(bhuh bhuvaha...) each preceded by pranava (OM) then the gayatri, then
the siris are (silently) recited.”
It should be chanted (silently) while holding the breath (kumbhaka).
When it is done three times it is called panayama. The pranayama
mantra is 64 syllables and takes about 20 seconds to chant, more or
less. The verse quoted above says three times and some interpret it as
chanting the mantra three times while holding the breath, but
generally it is chanted once and three such pranayamas will make one
bundle of pranayama. If you try to do the chant thrice in one go it
would taken a minute and holding the breath for one minute could be a
real challenge to most and so most people stick to the earlier
What about the duration for inhalation and exhalation? Sri
Krishnamacharya says in Yoga Rahasya that it should be vishamavritti
indicating that the time duration for inhalation exhalation and breath
holding would vary. So many go by the 1:4:2 ratio.
One may inhale for 5 seconds then chant the mantra during internal
holding for 20 seconds and then exhale for 10 seconds. The breath
holding after exhalation is considered a hathayoga practice and many
orthodox people who do pranayama as part of the Puja or Japa ritual
dispense with bahya kumbhaka and the bandhas. The quickie pranayama is
three times but it is recommended that on should do 10 times the
samantra pranayama. (Contrast this with the hathayoga approach of
going up to 80 times mantraless pranayama).
Since children sometimes as young as 5 were initiated into vedic
studies, it becomes obligatory for them to do sandhya and hence mantra
pranayama and silent gayatri chant. But then because they are young
they may not be taught to do calibrated pranayama. Usually in course
of time they would learn to do long inhalation and exhalation say in
nadishodhana. Later they will be taught the whole vishamavritti
pranayama as explained earlier.
So the mantra is chanted silently in pranayama. But most people just
chant the mantra without the pranayama--they may merely touch the nose
but not do the pranayama. So we have one set of people who do
pranayama without mantras as most hatha yogis do and another group
especially in India who chant the mantra faithfully but do not do the
prnayama at all and thus both lose out. It even led the much revered
previous Sankaracharya of Kanchi to remark that if only Indians would
hold the breath (kumbhaka) rather than just touch/hold the nose they
would all become great yogis and spiritual persons.
My Guru also said that when doing any mantra in japa, in pranayama or
meditation, one should think of the meaning or import of the mantra.
That makes it lot more powerful and meaningful. What does this mantra
signify, many times we get initiated into a mantra routine without
knowing what it means. All yogis know that Patanjali insists on
contemplating on the meaning of pranava when doing pranava japa to get
the grace of Iswara.
“Om Bhuh, om bhuvah, om suvah, om mahah, om janah, om tapah, om
satyam; then the gayatri and then the siras which runs like this, ”om
apah jyoti rasah amrtam brahma bhurbhuvassuvarom” is the pranayama
mantra. This mantra appears in Mahanarayana Upanishad, the last
chapter of Yajur veda. This upanishad also contains several beautiful
mantras used on a daily basis like the offering to the five pranas
(before taking food), meditating within the heart etc. I got the whole
chapter (about 45 minutes of continuous chanting) recorded some 25
years back by “Sangeetha” and I believe it is available in some stores
in Chennai, India. You may learn the pranayama mantra—visit my website
www.vinyasakrama.com/chants and click on the “Learn Pranayama Mantra
So what is the meaning of this wonderful pranayama mantra? Again there
are different interpretations. The conventional meaning for the seven
vyahritis is seven different worlds starting with the world we live in
to six other higher worlds. But the word loka is interpreted in a more
esoteric sense by a few scholars. They say that the words loka and
look are derived from the same root . And the seven lokas are the
seven perceptions of the ultimate reality which is Brahman the pure
non changing consciousness.
So this approach which gels with the advaita philosophy would be as
follows: According to the Upanishads, Brahman in its pristine state is
alone and there was no time or space (aksha and avakasha) in
contention. The Brahman once thought that it should become many
(bahusyam praja yeyeti). Then in the next stage It deeply contemplated
as to how it should create the universe and make many microcosmic
individual consciousness. This state was known as the stage of tapas
of the Brahman (sa tapo tapyata). Then after deep contemplation and
planning It created the entire Universe (idam sarvam asrujata). After
this creation the Brahman entered and permeated the entire Universe
(tat eva anupravisat) and every being as the individual Self.
The seven vyahrutis are considered as representing the seven states of
the same consciousness four at the microcosmic level and three at the
cosmic level. So when doing pranayama during breath holding
internally, one would say 'om bhuh', contemplate on the consciousness,
represented by pranava or 'om during the waking state. Then as the
second vyahriti 'om bhuvah ' is recited, one would think of the same
consciousness being aware of the individual dream state.
'om suvah” would refer to the same consciousness witnessing the deep
sleep stage. Om mahah, the fourth vyahriti is the consciousness beyond
the three earlier mentioned known amongst the vedantins as the fourth
state of the mind (turiya) or the yogi's kaivalya state. The same
consciousness now is identified with the Brahmana that created the
Universe (Om Janah). Then the next mantra, the sixth “Om tapah” would
represent the Brahman as one deeply contemplating and finally the
pristine state of consciousness “Om satyam” the one and only Brahaman.
With this the abhyasi is able to identify and meditate upon the same
one Brahaman as seen in different states. The theory that there is
only one consciousness that exists both at the cosmic and at the
microcosmic level is the bedrock of the advaita (No two
conciousnesses) viewpoint. So an advaitin while doing pranayama is
able to reinforce the advaitic conviction.
Then the second part of the pranayama mantra is the gayatri mantra. It
again refers to the ultimate reality as the inner light. Just as the
sun with its lustrous orb lights the entire world, the Brahman/Self
lights the entire chitta or the internal world of the meditator, so
that the chitta vrittis are experienced or 'seen' in the mind's eye .
The last portion known as the siras or the head, is an encomium to the
ultimate Brahman. It refers to It as OM., pure consciousness, the
universal light, the essence of the entire Universe, immortal
(unchanging), the source of the universe, and is known to the
individual as the inner Self during the three states of waking, dream
and deep sleep.
This meaning of the pranayama mantra is vividly brought to the mind as
the pranayama mantra is recited silently during antah kumbhaka. Then
it is known as samantraka or sagarbha pranayama. According to Manu
this samantra pranayama is the greatest Tapas/meditation.
It is said that those who are well versed in the chakras are able to
identify the seven vyahritis with the seven chakras in the body using
the respective bijakshara or seed mantras. Some make an effort to
visualize the cosmic Brahman in the seven chakras in the microcosm
There are other types of mantras used. For instance saivaites tend to
chant the siva mantras as they hold the breath as mentioned in the
Tamil Saiva classic “Tirumandiram”. The mantra “sivasiva” of four
syllables is chanted 16 times during one breath hold corresponding to
64 syllables as in the pranayama mantra referred to earlier.
Here is a pranayama for renunciates:
While doing puraka or inhalation the thought would be that the entire
universe is ultimately drawn into the Brahman. Then while in
antahkumbhaka the contemplation would be that the outside Universe and
I are no different from the Brahman. Then while exhaling the ego “I'
with the entire Universe is discarded as nothing but an illusion, not
real, not significant. And in bahya kumbhaka one would contemplate
that pure Brahman alone is real, It alone exists.
Those who believe in the reality of world and the trinity (Brahma,
Vishnu and Siva), would use pranayama to reinforce their faith.
Inhaling through the left nostril one should think of the four faced
Brahma the creator aspect of the trinity and of blood red hue (rajas
guna) while chanting Om 16 times. Then closing both the nostrils and
holding the breath in kumbhaka one should think of the white colored
(satva guna) Hari, the protector/sustainer chanting pranava 64 times.
Then while exhaling through the right nostril one should meditate on
Siva of dark color (tamo guna) chanting pranava 32 times. Then one
should start inhaling through the right nostril for 16 matras chanting
pranava 16 times and continue the pranayama for a predetermined number
of times with both mantra and bhava.
Different smritis and very old yoga texts refer to a variety of
pranayamas with and without mantras. Almost all the puranas have a
section on yoga which describe different asanas and pranayamas. (I
think with all this evidence one may say with some conviction that
Yoga is more than 100 years old). For more information on pranayama
you may consider referring to my book “Yoga for the Three Stages of
Life” pages 189 to 211.
Sri Krsishnamacharya's Yoga teachings were unique and very rich. In
Vinyasakrama asana practice, breath synchronization with slow
movements is an essential element. One would start the movement with
the beginning of inhalation or exhalation and complete the movement
with the completion of that breathing phase. The time taken in actual
practice may be between 5 to 10 or 12 seconds depending on one's
capacity and control. If it goes below 5 seconds one would stop the
practice and rest to regain the vinyasa krama acceptable breath. My
Guru, Sri T Krishnamacharya would say 'breathe with hissing sound' (a
la cobra, refer to ananta samapatti in YS) or 'with a mild rubbing
sensation in the throat'.
In this way, with long deep inhalation and exhalation, the intercostal
muscles are stretched and toned up and by the time pranayama is
started the accessory muscles of breathing are well exercised so that
one has a well oiled breathing apparatus for a very productive
pranayama practice. And while doing pranayam introduction of mantras
and bhavas helps to bring the mind to a focus which will be of
considerable help when one starts the meditation process. Thus Sri
Krishnamacharya following the tradition of yoga described in old yoga
texts like the yoga sutras, the puranas, smritis and other ancient
texts helped to understand and achieve the best of an outstanding
ancient system called Yoga.
You may access the earlier Newsletter by visiting my website
www,vinyasakrama.com and clicking on the Newsletter tab. Any comments
or suggestions please e mail to
Ramaswami's Newsletters are now available in three volumes, 2009, 2010, 2011 FREE on Kindle and Pdf
A series of posts exploring the the 'Ashtanga Rishi Series' mentioned at the end of Nancy Gilgoff's Article (see link below) and outlined in a reply by David Willams on his forum below (the headings in block capitals are mine).
Sury A x 3/ Sury B x3
Pincha mayurasana (25 Breaths) Alignment could be a lot better so found this challenging, I used to be a lot straighter in this posture, will need to work on that if I want to explore longer stays here.
Karandavasana (10 Breaths) An experiment, managed to lower and hold my lotus for 10 breaths before it slipped off, part of the problem was a lack of preparatory postures, lotus wasn't as tight as usual plus I've only just come back to including Karandavasana in my practice after three months on the Subroutine book.
Mayurasana (10 Breaths) Managed 10 breaths, considered going up again as with Navasana but thought a long stay here is too much strain on the wrists.
Vatayansana ( 25 Breaths each side). First side with the foot flat second side on the toes. Flat seemed more stable but found it hard to stretch up into the posture, again lack of preparation. Next time I'll try this and Karandavasana after a couple of janu sirsasana's and half lotus postures. A reminder of the benefit of Vinyasa Krama subroutines.
Parighasana (25 Breaths each side). Comfortable but am used to long stays here from Vinyasa Krama
Gomukhasana A + B (25 breaths in each and each side) Again comfortable, some slight circulation problems in B on the second side, this is a meditation posture so well suited to long stays.
Supta Urdhava pada Vajrasana A + B (25 breaths in each and each side). I was expecting circulation problems from the bind but it was quite comfortable. Again these are Vinyasa Krama postures so longer stays are familiar
Mukta hasta sirsasana A, B, C. (50 breaths in each) Seemed comfortable enough at the time although the arms began to ache afterwards.
Baddha Hasta Sirsasana A, B, C, D (50 breaths in each) D was the only tricky one, just a case of maintaining focus, fifty breaths in all of these would certainly be possible.
An interesting experiment that I plan on doing again next year and perhaps look at Advanced A and b postures after getting back into those series when the warmer weather comes on. Struck more than ever of the benefit of the Vinyasa krama subroutines. Being thrown into these postures cold makes them even more challenging, much better to build the subroutine around them, preparatory postures and variations.
To reiterate the plan. The idea is to run through Primary and Second series with the Ashtanga breath, equal inhalation and exhalation, take a note of how long I'm staying in the asana and then revisit the asana with the Vinyasa krama breathing. Here I'll reduce the number of breaths by lengthening the inhalation and especially the exhalation and employing breath retention where appropriate. So the same time in the pose but perhaps half or a quarter the number of breaths. This seems a more interesting approach to me than just staying in the asana for 25-50 breaths, if we're going to be in the posture that long it seems to make sense to explore the breath as fully as possible.
Going to take a break from blogging for a while, perhaps quite a while. I'm tired, been practicing five years this month and blogging for four of them, time to go cave yogi for a while and focus on taking my practice and studies further.
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga at home by Anthony Grim Hall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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