I love this picture
It's from the Valencia workshop last weekend ( see previous two posts for more pics). If there is one image that sums up Ramaswami's presentation of Krishnamacharya's Vinyasa Krama asana for me, it's this movement from tadasana, one that echoes through so many of the other sequences. Seeing, out of the corner of my eye, the room follow my movements, Ramaswami's movements, Krishnamacharya's....
...and I'm probably saying "stretch, stretch, stretch", smiling inside as I hear Ramaswami's voice in my head.
Did he hear Krishnamacharya in his each time he repeated it to us?
In Leon it was the headstands, looking around the room and seeing Ramaswami's movements in sirsasana, feeling that I was sharing this, passing it along if only a small part of all he shared with us. It makes me want to share more, to be able to do his teaching more justice.
Teach only what you know..... so far so good, don't stray from that path... that way be dragons
I can't think of it as teaching, sharing then, sharing my own practice of what Ramaswami taught to us, just that - does he, my teacher, think of it the same way I wonder.
And besides, it's the practice that teaches, the practice of the practice.
And my talk on Krishnamacharya, it's just my reading, what do we know really.... I wonder how much his sons and daughters really knew of that enigmatic man, their father.
Go to the texts, the primary sources, what did he actually write, what did he want to share but even there we have to speculate on the context, what can we ever really know.... and if we should only teach what we know... Share then, a reading, one interpretation, one among many.
Stretch, stretch, stretch, readings are like this also.
And yet it's exhausting, draining, distracting from my own practice ( that this is a practice, THE practice is still seeping in) and I keep telling myself that come May when I follow M. back home to Japan, I'll retire, go back to exploring my own practice, turn it all off the blog, fb....
Who am I kidding, a corner has been turned and I've shared a little, just a little, smilingly (on the inside) repeated stretch stretch stretch and the room has done just that, something, a little something, has been passed along.
That's the job.
OK not really fat but a little heavier than I have been for some time. I've let the discipline slip a little. When did that happen? Since last summer I think, little by little, the three months of Kidney stone related nonsense, softening my practice, exploring Krishnamacharya's slow primary, slight over indulging on and around Christmas, the disruptions.....
I can feel it in the binds, there's a little bit of a belly there and I can see it in my sarvangasana, hello old friend, nice to see you, I hope this is a short visit...
First reaction? Time for a month of full-on Ashtanga, a not untypical reaction perhaps but why Ashtanga, it's not the practice not really the practice but the discipline around the practice, eating better, eating less. Krishnamacharya had a lot to say on this, eat what you need then feed the crow.
So here's a challenge, much interesting than the chakrasana challenge... to get back to my fight (practice) weight on a Vinyasa Krama practice ( although with Friday Primary obviously, Krishnamacharya's slow Primary). You raise an eyebrow, don't think it can be done? That's because you don't know your Vinyasa Krama, have a softly softly view of that practice, Ramaswami made us sweat and more than once, why do you think he has those mini savasana's in his tool box.
In the Red corner tipping the scales at 80.1 kilos, me now.
In the Blue corner, me then (LMU 2010) 74.5 kilos
Actually 74.5 was the lowest I've been, probably too low, that was brought on by practicing Intermediate series in the LMU stairwell at 5am before heading on over to Ramaswami's three hour asana class each morning via the coffee stand. breakfast lunch, dinner and tea tended to be a couple of handfuls of cereal and a swig of milk.
77.7 kilo then, my regular comfortable practice weight, when the binds are effortless and my jump backs float like a butterfly...
Practice has shifted
The focus is moving away from asana or rather behind the asana...
Shadow tones, shadow asana...
What was Krishnamacharya up to in his Yoga Makaranda asana descriptions, that pranayama in asana, the moving of prana, the drishti focus on the chakra model?
I can't make sense of it intellectually so have to go inside, not enough to hold those kumbhakas, have to get down and dirty with the prana model, the chakra's, play with them myself...what were those yogi's up to when they built and tweaked the model, what did they notice, what was Krishnamacharya rediscovering in his own practice?????
Prana it is then, chakra it is but not the pretty rainbow coloured ones, onnggg ongggg ongggg ongggg
Off to Coventry early tomorrow morning for Dr. Norman Sjoman's workshop
I really don't know what it's going to be like, hadn't even thought about the asana element but am getting excited about it. ‘opening’ and posture deepening techniques????
Perhaps this gives a clue
Yoga Touchstone has a section of essays and a section of pictures.
The essays draw on a deep traditional knowledge of the original texts that has been tempered through actual practice and the study of practice traditions. The historical ground for this has been cleared by Sjoman in his earlier book The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. The essays draw also on theories of movement that are slowly supplanting the reductionist ideas of the body, the legacy from anatomical art and science. The results are enriching – it leads to unique interpretations of Patanjali’s sutras and concepts that are prominent in metaphysical knowledge systems. Sjoman’s work is learned and fresh. His insights cannot be neglected or dismissed.
The pictures in the book of Sri Dattatreya are equally refreshing. These photographs are not illustrative although they surely serve as illustration for asanas. They are unique in the world of yoga. They are part of a landscape speaking a language of transcendence, beauty and place.
Sat 1st Feb:
10.00am-12.00noon – Posture Work Part 1 – Led Asana technique class, with tuition in Dr Sjoman’s ‘opening’ and posture deepening techniques
12.00noon-2.00pm Lunch break
2.00-3.30pm Lecture 1. – Yoga Research Overview – Dr Sjoman’s 40 years of yoga research and practice, the Sanskrit language and the yoga scriptures
4.00-5.30pm – Traditional Pranayama – purpose, techniques and benefits
5.30-6.00pm Questions & Answers / Satsangns1_hyp
Sun 2nd Feb:
10.00am-12.00noon – Posture Work Part 2 – Led Asana Class, with tuition in Dr Sjoman’s ‘opening’ and posture deepening techniques
12.00noon-2.00pm Lunch break
2.00-3.30pm Lecture 2. – The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali – an in-depth look at the origins, the philosophy and the misconceptions surrounding this definitive scripture on yoga
4.00-5.30pm – More on Traditional Pranayama + The Meditative State
5.30-6.00pm Questions & Answers / Satsang