This week we were offered the chance to have free lessons through the school 'attached' to the shop (thank you Laura... and Vicky). Sax is/was my thing so I chose flute lessons, I've fooled around with flutes for years, can test the ones I've repaired but never taken actual lessons. Come to think of it I never had Sax lessons either, Saxophone...at home. Actually it was more like Sax by the river, under a bridge by the Kamo gawa in Kyoto each morning, whatever the weather, whatever the season...... sounds familiar.
|Kamo gawa, Demachiyanagi, Kyoto. Taken from the bridge I used to practice under|
See that big clump of trees in the middle, contains one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto....
|Shimogamo jinja, M. and I were married here : )|
So flute homework and a dilemma...
Do I practice my flute before or after the Yoga?
For the last six years or so I've practiced twice a day, soon as I get up, soon as I get home. Currently it's Ashtanga in the morning, Vinyasa Krama and my main pranayama session in the evening.
When I get off the bike I'm nicely warmed up for a short, pre pranayama, asana practice, warm enough to jump into pretty much any short Vinyasa krama subroutine I may feel I've been neglecting. But if I practice the yoga first it's a little late for the flute ( neighbours). Practice the flute first and the body has cooled down and I need a longer asana practice which cuts into pranayama and meditation time. Dilemma.
I know I'm spoiled, makes me wonder which I'd choose if I ended up only able to practice once a day.
OK, I was joking, at least I thought I was.
At first I thought this was being disrespectful to both the flute and the asana but then it struck me, what could be better practice for both than practicing playing long tones in eka pada sirsasana.
The breath should be long, thin, slow, like the pouring of oil according to Krishnamacharya.
That's one thing in janu sirsasana but eka pada sirsasana? Good way to check the steadiness of the breath.
Krishnamacharya would have the Mysore boys chant mantras out loud while they were in asana, this evening, just as an experiment, I practiced a few scales and short pieces in in a handful of asana that seemed doable while holding a flute.
|Krishnamacharya would have the boys of the Mysore palace chant mantras while in asana|
Breath of Gods
Badha konasana ( feet made a nice prop for the book)
Eka pada sirsasana ( tried Dwi but failed)
Yoga nidrasana (favourite)
Vatyanasana (just plain silly)
Sarvangasana (teacher wouldn't approve of the jalandhara or angle of flute)
sirsasana ( didn't really work)
You might not want to pick up a flute but how about a simple whistle
Pick an asana of your choice, start with something simple, try to keep a steady, even note.
....or just whistle
|Niralumba sarvangasana with flute|
Just seen the leg behind head flute picture used on a flyer for a workshop I'm presenting soon in Moscow, i though that now Ive moved to japan an update was called for.