The new practice space, the view and what's left of the yoga book shelf after the move to Japan.
This post is an attempt to answer the question above with this morning's practice as an example but bringing in some of my older videos relating to slower practice I. E. slower breathing, longer stays (rishi approach) kumbhaka, adapting the 'sequence' to the demands of a slower practice etc. It's along the lines of the kind of practice I've been teaching in crete this summer and will be looking to present, at some point, in my upcoming workshops (see right panel of blog).
I thought I'd put this up at the top of the blog as a permanent page and develop it over time..
I think of the indications below more as options for practice that Krishnamacharya emphasised in his early Mysore writings (1930s-40s), back when he was still teaching the young Pattabhi Jois.
- Longer, slower breathing
- Longer stays in some asana, shorter stays in others
- Kumbhaka ( retaining the breath in for between 2 and 10 seconds after the inhalation and/or retaining the breath out for between 2 and 10 seconds after the exhalation) dependent on the particular asana or mudra.
- It may well follow the general framework of the current Ashtanga sequence but the sequence split perhaps over two or more days.
- Due to splitting up the sequence other asana or variations of asana may be included to prepare or extend a key asana in the days practice
"When once a fair proficiency has been attained in asana and pranayama, the aspirant to dhyana has to regulate the time to be spent on each and choose the particular asanas and pranayama which will have the most effect in strengthening the higher organs and centres of perception and thus aid him in attaining dhyana". Krishnamacharya - Dhyana or meditation Yoga Makaranda part II
Ujjayi in tatkamudra - 6 breaths ( scanning vital points on inhalation, nabhi on exhalation)
Anuloma ujjai - in Vajrasana - 6 cycles
Krishnamacharya Surya Namaskara options
Krishnamacharya shifts his kumbhaka around, generally, if the head is up it's antar kumbhaka, after the inhalation, if the head is down then it's bhya kumbhaka, after exhalation. generally there is no kumbhaka in twists.
Parivritta Trikonasana - 3
Utthita Parshvakonasana - 3
Parivritta Parshvakonasana - 3
Prasarita Padottanasana A. - 5
Parshvottanasana - 5 AK 5s
Utthita Hasta Padangushtasana plus standing marichi variation - 1 full breath in each stage
(I spent longer in standing postures this morning, usually I would split these up over two days)
Dandasana - 10 - AK 5s (scanning through vital points on inhalation hrdaya on exhalation)
Paschimattanasana - 15 - BK 5-10s (scanning through vital points on inhalation nasagra on exhalation)
Purvatanasana - 3
mahamudra -10 each side - BK 5-10s
Slower breathing, 10 second inhalations, 10 second exhalations
Janu Shirshasana A. - 1 each side
Marichyasana A C - one full breath in each variation and on each side
Tiriangmukhaikapada Paschimattanasana - 3
Bharadvajasana - 6 each side - AK 5s
Maha bandha - 6 each side- BK-5s
Ardha Matsyendrasana - 3 each side
Baddha Konasana - 10 each vinyasa - AK 5s for B (sitting up)
Padmasana with variations - 10 in total
Uth Pluthi - 5
shoulderstand prep ( 3 vinyasas) 3x each variation
Sarvangasana - 12 (legs relaxed )
viparita karani (sirsasana as mudra no variations) - 12
Sarvangasana with assorted variations - 5 mins ( see THIS post )
Shirshasana with assorted variations - 5 mins (see THIS post) - No intentional kumbhaka but I tend to try and lengthen the inhalation and exhalation as long as possible, between 30-45 second breath, gets slower as it goes on.
Baddha Padmasana - 10
Paranayama - basti - 30 and nadi sodhana -pratiloma ujjayi- with japa ( mentally reciting pranayama mantra 20s) - 6 cycles
Pratyahara 3 mins
trataka - 10 mins
savasana 5 mins
but it perhaps give an impression of how slower breathing, longer stays, less asana might be approached.
Middle group practice
The practice from this morning that I outlined above was based on the Primary group asana, tomorrow I will most likely base my practice on the middle group, a similar approach to standing as above with perhaps some time spent on some tadasana backbending preparation variations from vinyasa Krama.
More time in Utthita Hasta Padangushtasana perhaps, in preparation for pasasana.
Tiriangmukhaikapada Paschimattanasana and krounchasana
I usually switch to the Vinyasa krama Bow sequence leading up to ustrasana, laugh vajrasana and kapotasana. The Bow sequence follows quite closely the layout of Ashtanga 2nd but with some extra vinyasas.
I've started to leave out dwi pada sirsasana altogether and just practice a longer stay in yoga nidra
We can practice less postures, below supposedly an example of Krishnamacharya's own personal practice from Krishnamacharya's 3rd son, TV Sribhashyam's book Emergence of Yoga.