Saturday, 26 January 2013

Best Practice Dream Ever - My Mysore Room

Had figured, that when I came back form the oh so brief sojourn to the metaphorical cave, I'd leave my voice behind and just post resources here,was too excited by this dream though not to post it. Oh well, nobody reads blogs over the weekend, can get away with it then bury it behind the upcoming Krishnamachaya biography.

The Dream
Woke up at 4:30AM from the best dream ever, laid there still half asleep trying to hold onto it, keep it going, so I'm not sure how much of this is the actual dream, how much the half awake state where I played with some of the dreams ideas and how much dream flashbacks during practice ( which ended up being a straight Primary without realising or intending it to be, had planned on doing part of VK Asymmetric this morning).

So there was a big Mysore room and I think I was aware in the dream that it was my room, I was teaching/guiding there anyway.  Just remembering that it seemed to change between an open plan Mysore room and a kind of mosque with pillars. At first I noticed all these mats and rugs even a couple of carpets and curiously office name plates at the head of the mats. Some had Ashtanga written on them, some Vinyasa Krama, one I remember had Slow Ashtanga and another Makaranda...later I remember seeing some hand written ones but that might have been a post dram addition.

Triopetra, Crete
the room in the dream was a little like this but without the green more Terracotta 
I started to realise that everyone was practising something different. There were a couple doing straight Ashtanga, quite fast, dynamic but also a young lean looking guy with Bradly Wiggins sideburns ( I know???) doing really slow Ashtanga, long long slow inhalations and exhalations. There were others doing a kind of blend of Ashtanga and Vinyasa Krama, adding extra postures into their Ashtanga and others who were doing Vinyasa Krama sequences, somebody was doing Bow, somebody else the Asymmetric sequence.
Name plates like this but with the approach to practice written on, Ashtanga, slow Ashtanga, Yoga makaranda, Ashtanga, Asymmetric,....

There was a girl who seemed to spend the whole dream in paschimottanasana ( don't think I saw her face ) and an old couple who just seemed to do a handful of key postures....

And somebody else who was practicing so nice and slow and focussed that they didn't get past standing..liked that.

Would have been nice to have somebody doing nothing else but a Prashant Iyengar approach to trikonasna... perhaps they were in another part of the room...out of dream shot.

And I was working the room, adjusting here slowing the breath there ( squatting down beside making my ujjayi loud and slowing it so the guy in supta kurmasna started to slow his). There was a young guy doing deep uddiyana kriya's on every pose like I used to n my old VK videos...

I remember one adjustment where a woman was trying to go from her ankles up her calves and I took her hand back to her ankles and doing the slow ujjayi thing again.....not sure about that, perhaps I should have let her get on with it.

The Mosque thing...as well as everyone practicing there were little groups sitting around some chanting together some doing pranayama and others discussing what I'm guessing was Ramaswami's yoga sutra book.
a simpler mosque than this but that same idea of different groups doing different things

Oh and some where doing pranayama on their mats or counting mala beads and I had a flashback of a couple guys doing Shanmukhi mudra (pratyahara).....

That was pretty much the dream but I keep getting flashbacks of a notice board one of those old fashion boac ones covered in holes that you pin letters into. It had Mysore room 5-10 ( which seems a long time) but there were also evening led classes in Ashtanga and different vinyasa Krama sequences Asymmetric and Seated, perhaps the others would be on a different week...oh and the led classes had Dana written next to them.

I've talked about this idea of having a Mysore room with different styles being practiced before, I posted the idea once as an ideal retreat but what I think was different about this was the name plates at the top of the mats and this wasn't a retreat but my own day in day out room. You would just come in pick up a name/practice approach plate from a little table and then I who whoever was teaching would have an idea what you were practicing.

Krishnamacharya's old yoga shala in the Mysore palace maybe it was this rather than the Mosque
 Love the idea of this, everyone practising respectfully together, whatever their approach, supportive and without judgement, just getting on with their practice....this would be a reason to teach.....someday

25 comments:

  1. The person who spent the entire time in Paschimattanasana may have been yourself, not actually doing a posture, but sobbing over the rent and electricity bills for your shala. Such is life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bit of a downer there Steve, thanks for the reality check, your probably right. No doubt we'll be back in Japan by the time I actually start teaching, nice and warm there most of the year, a couple of fans should do it.

      Delete
    2. Oh, sorry it was a bit of a downer. Something I find very sad, is that yoga is so beneficial to any motivated individual, and to society, AND so simple too, i.e. anyone can take benefit from it. But, if I want to go and see a teacher, it is so expensive and therefore out of reach to anyone that doesn't have much disposable income. In many cases, it's not the teacher's fault, it's the destructive formula that's involved:

      "High Business Cost" divided by "Quantity of Dedicated Students" = "A business in trouble".

      From what I see, that leads to the very, very sad fact that, in most cases, if you don't live in a Capital, or at least huge, city you have only a tiny chance of establishing a relationship with a GOOD teacher.

      With the enormous benefits that a well grounded practice can give; I think that's such a great shame. Millions of people don't have anyone encouraging them onto a mat for long enough to know what they're missing.

      Delete
  2. Anthony. Oh My God.

    I need a moment here, wait.

    Ok I am back. You have been doing this for so long, really studying it, that I am not surprise that a dream would come along and gently kick you in the butt about teaching already. I remember you saying that the certificate of the 200 hours means nothing, and I agree, a certificate does not, but the hours you've put into this.

    I would say there is a group of people who would love you teaching, I am one of them in that group.

    I am grateful that this dream came to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Claudia : )
      I don't know not so long really it seems but K. says we learn best through teaching so perhaps. Not so much that the 200 hours meant nothing ( i consider them priceless) but rather that it's not enough on it's own, then you have to internalise the practice, embody it. I don't think any of us on that course ( or very few) did it to have the certificate but rather to have the chance to learn a broader/deeper understanding of Yoga from Ramaswami. Still there's not enough of us so one feels obliged to pass it on.

      Also I love this idea, a mysore self practice room that really is self practice whatever your practice may be, as if you were at home but for those who prefer to practice with others or would like some support. i wasn't sure it was possible, how would you know what everyone was practicing such that you could be of any use but the place name at the end of the mat is a eureka moment, must have been ticking away in my subconscious. i want to do it, work towards it because I want to see if it really can work and how it would work the effect that kind of a room would have on people.

      So the plan perhaps is to work towards it, to work out how best to bring such a room about. A workshop or two sometime might be a step on the way. A mixed mysore room in the morning, led classes in Slow Ashtanga, Yoga makaranda approach, Vinyasa krama, ashtanga Vinyasa krama, straight ashtanga, everyone encouraged to explore a different approach from their usual one each day... I don;t know lots of thinking....a retreat perhaps. God am I really saying all this out loud.

      Delete
  3. I like the dream, and you describe it vividly... I really get the feeling from your description of one of those magical dreams.

    However, please leave the girl walking higher up her calves alone ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such a vivid dream Susan, been exhausted all day, kept getting flashbacks all through practice and was dying to get up and write notes. There's this Mindfulness approach of acknowledging a thought but mentally saying I'll think it through later, taking the thought and putting it to one side....use that a lot.

      yeah sorry about the kapo bit, felt a bit bad about that but it wasn't like it was YOU ( have seen your Kapo) but rather somebody who had just got there heels and rather than settle there and work on the breath and a longer stay ( 25 long slow breaths- Rishi ?) was already trying to reach the ankles and then the calves.... no rush, get your heels then work on staying there for twenty minutes with steady breath then worry about ankles....that kind of thing.

      Delete
    2. Kapo Rishi series idea
      http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/ashtanga-rishi-approach-2nd-series.html

      These were Ashtanga breaths though rather than the slow Ashtanga breathing I'm doing now...not crazy about the idea of 25 of those.

      Delete
    3. Oh don't worry, I remember the whole rishi thing very well! Although I could have sworn it was going on while I was here last year, not 2007.. hmm.

      Nice practice, not ashtanga.

      I see where you're going now with the staying at the heels thing (I thought it was a standing backbend, btw), but.... twenty minutes in kapo?!?!?

      I've had people interfere with me in kapo as well.... very irritating, I just avoid them :)

      Delete
    4. Yes January last year that post has 2012/01 in the url the 2007 is paert of my google email address grimmly2007 9 when i set up the account...God have I been doing this blog five years now (sigh).

      Was exaggerating re twenty minutes although i have an (interview) going up next week where Krishnamacharya says you should stay in a posture for fifteen minutes (of course context is everything) In Yoga Makaranda too ( same time of course as he was teaching Pattabhi Jois) he writes that we should even stay in Mayurasana for fifteen minutes.Both Pattabhi Jois and Iyengar talk about K standing on them in kapo and delivering lectures...come to think of it Saraswathi and Sharath have said something similar if I'm not mistaken.......I thought two minutes was plenty not sure i could manage five let alone fifteen.

      Perhaps it's those postures we least want to be interfered with that we should be interfered with.....but I take your point and perhaps we should get T-shirt's printed "Don't mess with me Kapo"

      Delete
  4. I agree with Claudia. You should do it. Many of us would come and share our yoga, whatever it is, and our attention and commitment, in exchange for your teaching. You have studied well and thoughtfully, it would be great for you to share your knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anon, appreciate it, 'Share our yoga" i like that.

      Delete
    2. yes, count me in!!!!! actually you should come and teach at my Yoga Evolution amd Tradition Workshop of I do it once again next year!!!!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful dream. In a way, you are already teaching in a very large room with this blog!
    -Elle

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you Elle I hope your right and that I've managed to use the blog to share as much as I can but perhaps I've also used it to avoid the issue a little.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Grimmly, your blog is such an inspiration. I love how the posts and your practice has developed over the years. Love your Mysore idea, you should definitely teach and/or plan workshops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grimm.... I think you are going to have to come up with a different name for your room. 'Mysore room' isn't just a couple of words, they actually refer back to what happens here in Mysore. I hope you can agree to call this an 'open self-practice room', or come up with another name for it, as I'm sure you can see that pointing it back towards Mysore is simply inaccurate?? This isn't a place where you choose what practice to do on the day.

      Delete
    2. I am kind of anticipating you objecting to that on the grounds that all of this originated with Krishnamacharya in Mysore in days gone by, but if so I think that would be a bit disingenuous, because it's pretty clear that 'Mysore style' refers to what's been going on in here in the last several decades and what is still being practiced here.

      I guess it would depend on whether you just want to teach, or if you want to both teach and make a political statement / stir things up more with the ashtanga community......

      My personal feeling is your energy would be better spent just teaching :)

      Delete
    3. I think you still have a long time yet before we have to worry what I call it ( and unless, i don't Know, Anne Hathaway or Gaga start practicing in 'my room' who's really going to care what I call it in my insignificant corner of yoga world ....that said...

      I'd probably just call it self-practice but your right Mysore style should perhaps refer to how it was practiced in Mysore, and Krishnamacharya used to teach ( while in Mysore and at thesame time he was teaching the young Pattabhi Jois) long stays and long slow breathing and kumbhaka and vinyasa (variations) and....

      I think what is confusing is that Pattabhi Jois used Ashtanga to refer to his approach. Story goes I think that David asked him what to call the practice and he just said Ashtanga as in Patanjali's Ashtanga approach. Less ego there than saying, call it Jois yoga but it would perhaps have been less confusing. Iyengar supposedly doesn't particularly like his approach being called Iyengar ( so he says). Desikachar forbade anyone calling it Desikachar yoga....all of them are Ashtanga yoga of course...confusing.

      I think that's where the problem comes with the '...intended for young boy's thing. Ashtanga (Patanjali) yoga IS intended for everyone but the approach Pattabhi Jois got from Krishnamacharya probably was an approach originally intended for the young boys of the palace and designed for them in mind. Now I think it can be adapted such that most anyone can practice it ( of course whether everyone would then allow that 'adapted Ashtanga practice' to be referred to as Ashtanga or Mysore style is another question) but was it an approach to practice originally intended for young boys? probably.

      There is a problem with the word Ashtanga being appropriated for a style of yoga that arguably mostly focusses on one of those eight limbs. What is Ashtanga? The approach to asana practice Patabhi Jois taught or the Yoga of Patanjali as found in the yoga sutras....confusingly it refers to both.

      What is Mysore room or Mysore Style? is it the simplified approach to practice developed by Pattabhi Jois from what he was taught by Krishnamacharya or does it/should it refer to the approach to practice that was developed in Mysore by Krishnamacharya and still practiced there in myriad forms ( think BNS Iyengar for instance) that is broader than the current general use.

      Yes it is no doubt a political discussion that probably wont go away, can't be bothered with it myself anymore. Should it stir things up? Probably, if it gets people to question what their Ashtanga practice is and what self practice should be or what Mysore style means but I'm happy to leave it to the new crop of bloggers and the next and the next..... it wont go away, it has legs. We should be questioning what we practice, hell what else SHOULD we question.

      But it shouldn't get in the way of practice and it's time for mine.

      Delete
    4. Why should we question what we practice? Because Ashtanga is a practice of self inquiry, inquiry into self and all that self attaches too. Yoga is Applied Smakhya it's Raison d'être is to question...though not perhaps our Western idea of/approach to questioning.

      We do this , we start out practicing for fitness perhaps but then we start to question that and start to pay more attention to the breath and what that means, what's going on there and the same with the bandhas. We question our practice as a series of postures and think of it as a whole, one great posture where each asana is part of that one great posture (ties in with that new anatomy idea you linked to on fb). We question it as an approach to physical fitness and begin to reflect on it as a means to mental fitness as mental preparation perhaps and so on...at each stage we then question if the form of the practice best suits our shifting focus of practice. Should we practice a little more slowly, stay longer, are some postures more suited than others...should we focus on bandhas more in this posture or one or two bandhas more in this posture than another or should we focus on the breath here, both the inhalation and exhalation equally or in this posture more focus on the exhalation and this bandha and in that posture more focus on the exhalation and another bandha...should we introduce a kumbhaka here. Should we focus on each posture equally or practice these postures more quickly to allow us to spend more time in the finishing postures or should we cut out postures to allow for more time in finishing or for Pranayama or foe Japa....and does this approach to practice despite all it adaptability, best suit us at each stage along 'spiritual journey' or as I prefer path of self reflection. All these questions come up over the years no? We don't have our guru or teacher hold our hand, he gives us the tools and sends us off to do the work/

      Delete
    5. Sorry Anon, all these replies seem to have ended up on your comment by mistake! Almost missed your actual comment.

      Thank you....think my post have become much more...wordy, used to be a video and couple of lines and done. is that a good thing, not sure.

      Delete
  8. I don't know LOL, to be honest you lost with me with your long involved replies, but regarding the part at the end, all these questions DON'T come up for me over the years, I don't feel the urge to analyse at all, although I certainly have experimented with all sorts of things. I kind of just follow my body, and save my mind for other stuff!

    I always open a can of worms when I come here, soon I'll be back to my normal routine and not reading blogs again, which is definitely for the best, though I'm going to carry on trying to write in mine :))

    Still like the dream though :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Different view of practice I guess sure we're both inquiring into practice, asking questions of it but I'm doing it mentally your no doubt asking questions of it with your body

    ReplyDelete
  10. Grrrrrrr, what is the point of an ipad if it just freezes up all the time when writing comments and won't let you edit half the time. Sorry if I've chased you off again.....cans are made for opening though aren't they? Have turned this into a post hope you don't mind, didn't use your name just in case you did. There's one point where I added that I'd want a teacher to have questioned such things, that was before you wrote this last comment....it wasn't directed at you I hope you know that I have a tremendous respect for you and would as a teacher too...as I said above I'm questioning the practice mentally you through your body, both good.

    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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