Intermediate was 'good' today, enjoyable?..... perhaps satisfying is better.
What I was saying yesterday about still seeing the series in stages, was playing on my mind a lot throughout the day. I'm thinking about the series too much, about the individual asana. My Primary isn't like that, I've been saying for ages that I treat it as a meditation, letting the series take care of itself while I try to practice a kind of rolling Vipassana. And in the beginning I tended to be more wrapped up with working on the Jump back and jump through that I let the asana pretty much work themselves out.
With intermediate I've been trying too hard, trying to improve every asana every morning. Thanks for reminding me about that Karen, didn't I post or a comment on that too, about practicing at 75% and working on the flow, and not too long ago either. I know better.
This great concentration/ samdhi discussion going on at Owl's got me thinking about the basics. In meditation on breath in Vipassana you might focus attention on the tip of your nose where the breath comes in and goes out, bringing attention back to that point as your mind inevitably wanders.
This morning I did the same thing, but fixing my attention at the back of my throat where I feel Ujjai strongest. Whenever my mind would wander to the practice, to the next asana, I would just bring it it back to the breath. I tried to have the Bandhas engaging automatically in the background on the exhale, occasionally having to shift my attention back to them to reset the routine before going back to the breath.
At Uttita hasta Padangusthasana I realized I couldn't split the one pointed attention effectively between the breath and the drishti (obviously ) so I would focus on the drishti during the pose then shift it back to the back of my throat as I moved out of one asana into the next. Breath, Drishti, breath, drishti....... Throughout the practice.
It seemed to work, I pretty much sailed through the practice in an hour and forty. I was surprised to find myself entering Vatayamasana at one point,' Oh here already' flashed through my mind before I shifted attention back. One other thought I remember noting was ' Here we go'. as I set up for Kapotasana . I didn't managed to come back up from Kapo, needed a bit more attention on coming up there and the same with Karanda, which was OK but I've done better. I was sweating as much, if not more than ever and my hand slipped as I dropped back, luckily I come down quite softly and slowly now so it was OK. I was really pleased with my breath, which remained pretty regular throughout though I took two pauses to slow it down, once before Kapo and once after the Titibhasanas.
So that's all there is too it, the obvious, the basics, we know this. Focus on the breath the bandhas and the drishti and let everything else take care of itself.
Away for a long weekend, Birthday break tomorrow morning. Still have no idea where to but I believe a plane is involved, excited about it. Not sure if I'll be able to practice but am taking the Yogitoes just in case.