from my previous post...
In the blogosphere/cybershala days the only photos of interest were those working towards an asana or the first time we actually got into it, after that there wasn't any reason to take another, kapo perhaps, dwi pada sirsasana when we were working on getting a little deeper to a more comfortable place but otherwise what was the point, no Instagram in those days.
It's one thing to share photos and videos with friends and the community of working towards an asana quite another perhaps to post the same asana in some fancy location, with questionable motives. OK the occasional one perhaps can be fun but making a habit or business out of it is rather depressing.
But I'm coming around to Instagram. I was sent a link to a video a few weeks back that I thought I needed an account to view. It seemed to take over my phone and contacts so I quickly uninstalled the app. On receiving mail this week with some nice photos from friends accounts I decided to tentatively have another crack at it.
And I'm hooked, I've wanted somewhere to quickly post and share some photos of living in Japan, the weird and quirky as well as the beautiful, Instagram is ideal, much more convenient than a blog or even fb.
|My instagram account https://www.instagram.com/grimmly2016/|
And then it struck me.....
If advanced asana can be endlessly promoted through Instagram then perhaps we can also promote Primary asana and the proficiency we can explore there, in postures that most can approach.
I had thought about making my previous post on 9 years of home practice my last (not for the first time) but perhaps this might make a nice direction for the blog, exploring Primary asana and perhaps some more basic Intermediate series/group asana with more proficiency. Not so much getting lost in technique and alignment, which can be yet more distraction but exploring the possibilities of the breath ( it may well be that the breath improves the alignment which in improves the breath).
And perhaps to look again at the so called Ashtanga Rishi approach project, less asana with longer stays but this time with longer, slower breathing and Kumbhaka just as Krishnamacharya presented in mysore in the1930s when pattabhi Jois was his student.
Advanced asana aren't intrinsically bad, it depends on our motives and intentions in practicing them, I had as much Asana madness as anyone.
from my previous post....
These (advanced ) asana were fun to explore over a period of three to four year but at some point it may feel time to put the toys away and look for something more. Some manage to do both of course, play/explore/research the more intricate and physically demanding asana ( and Krishnamacharya hoped a few would) and still go deeper into the practice. Personally I just wanted to breathe more slowly, which meant less asana and less asana and at my age meant less of the intermediate and advanced asana.
On Instagram then, along with photos of Japan, a Proficient Primary Project..... do I need a hashtag?
Here's the Badda Konasana Instagram post from earlier today.
If we can promote advanced asana through Instagram then perhaps we can also promote Primary asana and work on proficiency there. Ramaswami and his teacher Krishnamacharya suggest timing how long we stayed in a posture, then repeat it staying the same length of time but taking only half the number of breaths.
Here I'm working on 8-10 second inhalation, equal exhalation and a 2-5 second kumbhaka (breath retention, here retaining the breath out) at the end of the exhalation. Staying in that posture for five to ten minutes. Padmasana is a counter posture and feels much more comfortable following a longer baddha konasana. For this reason I tend to shift it to the end of my practice just before my Pranayama and Sit.
If you don't want to explore such long stays in regular practice this makes a nice pre-Sit evening practice. Five minutes each side in Maha mudra (janu sirsasana A without folding forward and long slow inhalations and exhalations perhaps with jalandhara banndha and kumbhaka 5-10 seconds after the inhalation), then baddha konasana, Siddhasana for some Nadi Shodhana pranayama perhaps and then padmasana (or other preferred meditation posture) for your Sit.
See this earlier post http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2015/07/pattabhi-jois-recommend-up-to-fifty.html replicated below.
'Pattabhi Jois recommended up to fifty breaths in baddha konasana' - Kino Macgregor
|hasta vinyasa options during a long stay in Baddha Konasana|
Krishnamacharya often recommended long stays in certain postures, perhaps he passed this along to Pattabhi Jois, whose son Manju mentions that his father would often stay for a long time in some postures. Baddha Konasan may well have been one of these long stays as Pattabhi Jois recommended staying in the posture for up to fifty breaths.
See also the Ashtanga Rishi Series
'Then, once one has mastered all of the asanas, one can practice "the rishi series", the most advanced practice. One does the 10 postures that one intuits will be the most beneficial and appropriate for that day, holding each posture for up to 50 comfortable breaths'. David Williams loosely quoting Pattabhi Jois.
I tend to rotate postures in my practice that I stay in for an extended period, given the time I'd stay ten minutes or more in Baddha Konasana every practice. I often bring it into my later Pranayama prep. practice which tends to consist of a sun salutation, maha mudra, baddha konasana, padmasana, sidhasana kapalabhati, japa nadisodhana pranayama and a sit.
Here I'm following Simon Borg-Olivier's tips, suggestions and recommendations ( I'm currently following his YogaSynergy Fundamentals online course), entering the posture as hands free as possible. I find nutating the tailbone in helps as well as thinking move the sit bones towards the feet and bring the belly button forward. I'm also practicing abdominal breathing. These are all tips from Simon that I've been exploring in this posture.
|Pṛṣṭa Añjali - hands in reverse prayer|
Really bugging me that I'm tilted slightly to the side
We still have Krishnamacharya count to and from the posture but once there we hit the pause button, explore the vinyasas, the longer stay, here Krishnamacharya's later hand and arm variations (hasta vinyasas that Ramaswami introduced me to on his TT) as well as the kumbhaka's t(he breath retentions after inhalationa and/or exhalation and udiyana kriya that Krishnamacharya writes of in his early Mysore text Yoga Makaranda). In the later text formally known as Salutations to the teacher, the eternal one, that AG Mohan has rearranged and referred to as Yoga Makaranda Part II Krishnamacharya mentions padmasana as being a pratkriya, a counter posture, to baddha konasana.