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I've deleted or returned to draft 80% of the blog, gone are most, if not all, of the videos I posted of Pattabhi Jois, gone are most of the posts regarding my own practice as well as most of my practice videos in YouTube, other than those linked to my Vinyasa Yoga Practice Book).

Mostly I've just retained the 'Research' posts, those relating to Krishnamacharya in particular.

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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Chanting or playing the flute in Asana

Photo update: (thought after moving to Japan I needed an updated version of the transverse  flute photos below). This picture seemed to make perfect sense at the time. How can you tell if a posture is...proficient (Krishnamacharya's word)? The answer being of course, how well can you breath, can you make the breath long, thin, slow, like the pouring of oil (Krishnamacharya again) could you, hypothetically obviously, play a long tone on a flute, a shakuhachi say.... or chant without running out of breath.

This week we were offered the chance to have free lessons through the school 'attached' to the shop (thank you Laura... and Vicky). Sax is/was my thing so I chose flute lessons, I've fooled around with flutes for years, can test the ones I've repaired but never taken actual lessons. Come to think of it I never had Sax lessons either, Saxophone...at home. Actually it was more like Sax by the river, under a bridge by the Kamo gawa in Kyoto each morning, whatever the weather, whatever the season...... sounds familiar.
Kamo gawa, Demachiyanagi, Kyoto. Taken from the bridge I used to practice under
See that big clump of trees in the middle, contains one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto....
Shimogamo jinja, M. and I were married here : )

So flute homework and a dilemma...

Do I practice my flute before or after the Yoga?

For the last six years or so I've practiced twice a day, soon as I get up, soon as I get home. Currently it's Ashtanga in the morning, Vinyasa Krama and my main pranayama session in the evening.

When I get off the bike I'm nicely warmed up for a short, pre pranayama, asana practice, warm enough to jump into pretty much any short Vinyasa krama subroutine I may feel I've been neglecting. But if I practice the yoga first it's a little late for the flute ( neighbours). Practice the flute first and the body has cooled down and I need a longer asana practice which cuts into pranayama and meditation time. Dilemma.

I know I'm spoiled, makes me wonder which I'd choose if I ended up only able to practice once a day.

Solution?



See too perhaps, this post


OK, I was joking, at least I thought I was.

At first I thought this was being disrespectful to both the flute and the asana but then it struck me, what could be better practice for both than practicing playing long tones in eka pada sirsasana.

The breath should be long, thin, slow, like the pouring of oil according to Krishnamacharya.

That's one thing in janu sirsasana but eka pada sirsasana? Good way to check the steadiness of the breath.
Lord krishna

Krishnamacharya would have the Mysore boys chant mantras out loud while they were in asana, this evening, just as an experiment, I practiced a few scales and short pieces in in a handful of asana that seemed doable while holding a flute.
Krishnamacharya would have the boys of the Mysore palace chant mantras while in asana
Breath of Gods

Vrikasana
Virabhadrasana
Dandasana
Marichiyasana A
Navasana (hard)
Badha konasana ( feet made a nice prop for the book)
Eka pada sirsasana ( tried Dwi but failed)
Yoga nidrasana (favourite)
Vatyanasana (just plain silly)
Gomukhasana (nice)
Sarvangasana (teacher wouldn't approve of the jalandhara or angle of flute)
sirsasana ( didn't really work)
Padmasana


You might not want to pick up a flute but how about a simple whistle


Pick an asana of your choice, start with something simple, try to keep a steady, even note.

....or just whistle



 I also recommend exploring some chanting, out loud while in some tricky asana and see how steady you can keep your breath throughout, try the opening chant say in Marichiyasana D or Kuukutasana, Kapo or Eka Pada Sirsasana.


Niralumba sarvangasana with flute
...and just one more because I just couldn't resist and last time I tried to shoot it I'll i got was my backside and the foot joint.


Update:

Just seen the leg behind head flute picture used on a flyer for a workshop I'm presenting soon in Moscow, i though that now Ive moved to japan an update was called for.


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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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