Had the best practice this morning. Ashtanga rest day so switched to Vinyasa Krama and practiced the Bow and Meditative sequences with some inversions followed by Pranayama and Japa mantra meditation. Caught my heels for the first time in six weeks in Kapo too and really nice pranayama.
Interesting, this is my first long Vinyasa Krama practice in about six weeks, what with the month long, led primary with Sharath project. I've practiced a shorter VK and pranayama practice in the evenings but even this was interrupted by the tictac project, so nice to have a proper practice.
I've missed it. Ashtanga is great, love it, enjoy it, feel fitter and stronger, the detox aspect seems to work but somehow, the last week or two I can't help feeling that I've moved on, Ashtanga's no longer enough.
This is no criticism of Ashtanga, it's a vary personal reaction but somehow the pranayama, the meditation, the chanting, my whole attitude to anything 'yogic' seem to marry better with Vinyasa Krama.
Perhaps it's just because I began to explore those areas while practicing Vinyasa Krama and associate them with it or maybe it's just that I'm too hot and sweaty after Ashtanga practice and don't like sitting on a sweaty Equa towel for pranayama. I know, I could change, and switch towels but it's more than that, somehow Vinyasa Krama practice seems to flow into pranayama, the longer slower breathing of that approach to asana perhaps. Could be why some Ashtangi's practice pranayama before their practice.
Ramaswami taught that the asana reduces the Raja's, the agitation, restlessness, then you practice pranayama to reduce tamas (eg. lethargy), setting you up perfectly, putting you at your most satvic, for your meditative practice. And It makes sense to me, the asana, pranayama, pratyahara all there to prepare you for a more effective meditation practice, to create the best conditions for concentration. Ashtanga is great for dealing with rajas but does it really put me in the best state for a concentrated, focussed meditation practice? For falling asleep in savasana perhaps but not for meditation. At least not me.
But then of course the argument is that Ashtanga combines everything, it is the meditation practice.
there's something else though, I don't know how else to put it. Ashtanga seems to dominate my practice, my day, I feel less relaxed, less calm, less.... equanimous.
Also less flexible.
But that's OK it's been an excellent six weeks, sharpened up my primary, had a good detox.
I figure I'll just think of Vinyasa Krama as my 3rd series. Practice Primary on Fridays, 2nd series on Sunday ( for the detox and to keep my hand in) and Vinyasa Krama the rest of the week. I might still take a month of led 2nd to tidy it up, August perhaps. So still going to practice Ashtanga and my even my Vinyasa Krama practice has a kind of loose Ashtanga structure to it, Standing, main body, finishing etc.
Also I want to spend June/July shadowing Ramaswami's Vinyasa krama TT course. I have all my notes and have been wanting to revisit them, so when the course starts in LA I'll do the same asana here at home as I did last year and reread and chant the yoga sutras, Krishnamacharya's Makaranda etc, the pranayama and meditation and perhaps post on it.
Here are the details of Ramaswami's VK TT course, can't recommend it enough and if you want a second opinion here's Claudia, a card carrying Ashtangi on Ramaswami's 20 hour Yoga Sutra course last week.
Clic on the title below for the link and if you have any questions regarding the course feel free to contact me, email address is under contact me in the About me profile section of the blog.
| Begins Jun 6, 2011|
| Loyola Marymount Univ.|
1 LMU Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045
|20.0|| YGPX 900.01|
The next cohort begins Monday, June 6, 2011. Students enrolling in the teacher training are invited to attend a program orientation the evening of Sunday, June 5 prior to the start of class (schedule is listed below). Students must make sure they are enrolled in 200-Hour Teacher Training (YGPX 900.01), which automatically enrolls in the student in the required courses necessary for the 200 hours. Please contact the Center with any questions at 310.338.2358.
Schedule: Sunday, June 5, 2010; 3:00 - 6:00 pm
200-Hour Teacher Training
Course Number: YGPX 900.01
Schedule: Monday - Saturday, June 6 - July 15, 2011; 8:30 am - 5:30 pm (holiday exceptions)