I've been feeling a little lazy in the shala, coasting as it were. Around me my shala mates are building up their Primary ( and we all remember how tough that was) or practicing full Primary and adding on some of 2nd, three are practicing the complete Primary series and all but the seven deadlies (the seven headstands) of 2nd series (the 2nd series practiced with full vinyasa).
Me, I come in, knock out my 2nd and leave, job done, quick shower pop Aranya in my bag and hit the beach.
OK, I'm not exactly coasting, 2nd is still tough, I'm nowhere near as deep in my kapo as I used to be or Dwi pada for that matter and as for karanda, it only just comes back up but it's all.... relatively comfortable.
So time to dust off my 3rd perhaps. If it had been a year since I'd last practiced full 2nd it must be close to three since I practiced all 3rd.
This morning I was feeling strong at the end of practice, yesterday I'd practiced Primary (thought twice a week made more sense than one led on Fridays) so started adding on 3rd series, went as far as Urdhva kukkutasana C, thought about the arm balances for about 30 seconds but decided enough for one day.
Why did I stop bothering with 3rd again, I forget, it was fun this morning. Think perhaps I was being oh so serious seeing 3rd as just party tricks, beneath me.
It's nice this time around, know I can do them, that they will come back and whether they do or not doesn't really bother me but there are some nice asana scattered throughout the series, some interesting challenges for the breath.
Ok, party tricks are perhaps not THAT beneath me, not sure I can still do this, oh the frivolity of youth (birthday tomorrow)
Was a little po-faced about yoga for a while back there, sorry about that. What does it matter perhaps what we do in our asana practice in this second of the three stages of life, we're preparing for the third stage, developing discipline, focus, attention, commitment, a good solid asana practice, (ashtanga for example, excels as a practice for all of these), the beginnings of pranayama and a nod towards a meditation practice.
I happen to be interested in Krishnamacharya's Ashtanga, it's the breath you see but so what if practising in a gym for a couple of evenings a week happened to be my my thing, it's a start, who knows what that might lead to, even if nothing other than a little less stress of a week.
We judge a lot huh.
Forgot to add this quote to yesterdays post from the the old 1994 Pattabhi Jois interview (from HERE)
Do you also teach your Western students Sanskrit?
K Pattabhi Jois: No, only asana and pranayama. You need Sanskrit to understand the yoga method, but many people, even though they would like to learn Sanskrit, say they have no time.
It is very important to understand yoga philosophy: without philosophy, practice is not good, and yoga practice is the starting place for yoga philosophy. Mixing both is actually the best.
adds context to this one
What about the other limbs of ashtanga yoga?
Do you teach a method of meditation?
K Pattabhi Jois: Meditation is Dhyana, the seventh step in the Ashtanga system. After one step is perfect, then you take the next step. For dhyana, you must sit with a straight back with your eyes closed and focus on the bridge of the nostrils. If you don't do this, you're not centered. If the eyes open and close, so does the mind.
Yoga is 95 percent practical. Only 5 percent is theory. Without practice, it doesn't work; there is no benefit. So you have to practice, following the right method, following the steps one by one. Then it's possible.
UPDATE: Happy Birthday to me
Added on half of 3rd (up to purna matsyendrasana) on to 2nd series this morning (groan).....my friend Niko does this every morning and then teaches for a couple of hours!
Up to Purna, that means I get to split again right? Not in this shala, think the idea is that I just keep adding on 3rd until I'm practising all of 2nd and then all of 3rd..... but perhaps that only goes for first time around (it's a pedagogic approach), I used to practice 3rd, surely I get to split. Please say I get to split!
I have zero interest in building up and maintaining the strength and fitness required for practising two series one after the other, perhaps in my youth IE. mid forties. Besides, I've already sweated 2 kilo into my towels, not much left in the tank by the time I get to adding on.
So much for my obsession with long full inhalation and exhalation, was panting about a second each, if that, through the arm balances... and this is a shame, 3rd is interesting, be nice to practice it on it's own and try to savour the breath in these postures. Purna barely counted (actually first side didn't count at all), left knee has been playing up all month, the way it usually does in winter. Had half an attempt at Viranchyasana A but that seems to have gone south for now, oh well... love this recently found sense of non attachment to postures, it'll come back when it comes back, what's the line, Practice (with sincerity) and all is....something or other
Favourite moment of practice this morning.... Kristina sitting down to help me in Supta Vajrasana, lighting a stick of incense and singing me happy birthday then saying, "no change, nothing's different, BREATHE, BANDHAS!"
After setting up a couple of long uploads I'm off to the ocean, everyone should get to swim in an ocean on their birthday.
And what's this, it's MY birthday but it's Kristina who gets the present, her new ORANGE Manduka arrived, I was on to Manduka years back about bringing out an Orange mat.
|Kristina on her new Black Dare Pro Ltd. Edition Orange and crystal blue Manduka mat (gloating much)|