Monday, 22 February 2016

Blog Housekeeping: New permanant page, Beginning Yoga / Ashtanga / Vinyasa krama

I received mail this week.....




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It's a good point, if this was a website it might be better organised but as a blog it's a godawful mess. There is label list at the bottom of the blog but that has grown too large, there's a search button over on the right but more often than not I just go to google type grimmly and a topic and leave it to google to find an old post. I've tried to put some key posts/resources at the top of the blog as permanent pages but again not ideal, dropdown menu's would be nice.


In response to the writer of the email above I've added two more pages to the top of the blog



and



The later is work in progress but so far contains theses links and introductions...


Beginning Yoga / Ashtanga / Vinyasa

Key posts/pages ( in progress)


Beginning Yoga / Ashtanga / Vinyasa Krama




Background yoga Philosophy

A little background philosophy at the beginning or early on in practice can be a good thing, it's something to keep coming back to.


Summary of the Yoga sutras - simplified into plain English

http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2015/03/summery-of-yoga-sutras-in-plain-english.html


Yama and Niyama


The yama and niyama are the mental and behavioural guidance. One reason they are there is to help provide a calmer more peaceful, less complicated environment for practice to take place, they can also be a support of practice. Reflecting for a few minutes at the end of the day before sleep on to what degree our day passed in accordance with one or more yama niyama can be a useful practice, not in the sense of self-judgement, but merely noting, this can be enough.



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Asana

If new to yoga, Vinyasa Krama can be a gentle introduction. Start with the arm movements following the breath in the first 'on your feet' sequence. Moving on, the first few postures in each of the subroutines that make up the different sequences tend to be preparatory or basic postures, take some of these easier postures from some of the different sequences to construct your practice. In each subroutines in the different sequences the postures lead from preparatory to key asana to more challenging variations.


VINYASA KRAMA


How to practice Vinyasa Krama



How to practice early Ashtanga



Slow Ashtanga





ASHTANGA

A good, experienced Ashtanga Mysore teacher is invaluable however if you do choose to learn at home (as I did) see the resource section and some of the book and dvd reviews ( I will be adding a beginner section). There is a tendency to rush on to the next asana and even the next series, forcing ourselves into new asana or finding ever new 'tricks7 for getting into the posture. Over time our bodies WILL become more flexible and more challenging postures more available to us, patience and common sense can't be over stressed. Even a minor pulled hamstring will either put a halt to your practice or make it unpleasant for months.

On Ashtanga practice



Learning the Sanskrit Count

At some point ( the earlier the better) the count can tighten up our practice and bring focus, learn it, internalise it, forget it.

http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2014/02/one-approach-to-learning-ashtanga.html#uds-search-results


Ashtanga and Ageing

This should really be titled Ashtanga and maturity, at some point we may wish to slow our practice down and explore longer slower breath and even some extended stays, this is most likely in keeping with Krishnamacharya's original intention. As we age this may be a physically necessity or advisable but it may be that after five years or so of dynamic, acrobatic asana madness we may wish to look for something else in our practice, we don't have to wait until we are over 50 to do so.

http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/p/ashtanga-for-three-stages-of-life.html




Advanced/proficient Asana practice

Before gained enlightenment I carried water from the well
After gaining enlightenment.... I carried water from the well

The most advanced asana practice may well be the very practice you began with, those first slow movements following the breath in the vinyasa krama 'on your feet' sequence, Your first Sun salutation or standing postures, Paschimattanasana, a straightforward shoulderstand and/or headstand, all practiced with steady breath and unwavering attention. longer stays with slower breathing may well be an area to explore at some point.


The Rishi approach




Asana lists



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Pranayama and Pratyahara

Pranayama is taught to children but there is a whole industry surrounding the topic. 
The most proficient pranayama practice can be no more than 

inhale through the left nostril
hold
exhale through the right nostril
inhale through the right nostil
hold
exhale through the left nostril
repeat.

In the beginning we might inhale to a count of four, hold for a count of two and exhale to a count of eight.
me might repeat, 3, 6 or 12 times

My own practice after several years (recommended by Ramaswami/Krishnamacharya) is merely the above but with a hold after the exhalation included.
I  inhale for 5, hold for 20 while chanting a mantra, exhale for 10, hold for 5 while engaging bandhas and repeat for 12 times or 24 or 48.

Pranayama doesn't need to be a big drama or too intense, if the pranayama is steady and comfortable it is suitable, if it becomes uncomfortable then perhaps we are not ready for that long a hold or that slow an exhalation, reduce the ratio until it is comfortable again.




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MEDITATION

Concentration, a meditative aspect arises naturally in the practice as we slow the breath and fix our attention however we are still engaged in the intricacies of asana and the details of the breath in pranayama, a more formal seated 'meditation' practice strips everything else us away and leaves us with nothing but our attention to work with. 

How to meditate



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Appendix




Yoga Philosophy


Summary of the Yoga sutras - simplified into plain English



Chanting the Yoga Sutras





Ashtanga Vinyasa History 




The Surya namaskara Key

http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/p/the-ashtanga-key-surya-namaskar-pdf.html



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Resources


Krishnamacharya Resource


Pattabhi Jois Resource


Manju Jois Resource



Srivatsa Ramaswami Resource


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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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