This blog is essentially 'sleeping'.

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.

Blog Comments are turned off, there are no "members" of this blog .

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Asymmetric asana approached as mudra. #proficientprimaryproject

5. Asymmetric asana approached as mudra



The Vinyasa serves the asana, it should surely lead us towards the asana rather than away. Too often we focus on getting into the posture rather than inhabiting the asana, why seek steadiness and comfort if in five rushed breaths we hurry back to our beloved Vinyasa. Surely this wasn't Krishnamacharya's intention when he presented the Vinyasa approach nor any of his students either. Krishnamacharya wrote of longer stays, he indicated long slow breathing (as did his student Pattabhi Jois in interviews), kumbhaka in most asana he presented, more often than not he appeared to approach asana not unlike mudra.

Mudra unites the mind and the body, in the previous post I presented Maha Mudra that we might inhabit before folding forward into the familiar Janu Sirsasana, where we also might remain longer; forward folding postures welcome the longer exhalation that characterises mudra.

Maha Mudra before folding into Janu Sirsasana

Just as with Janu Sirsasana we might pause before folding forward in other asymmetric asana and approach them as mudra, Tirieng Mukha Eka Pada Paschimattanasana and Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana for instance, maichiyasana also (see tomorrow).

Mudra approach to Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana 
Mudra approach to Tirieng Mukha Eka Pada Paschimattanasana





Above, mudra approach to Janu Sirsasana A, B and C


Pause the Vinyasa count before folding, slow the exhalation for the mudra to twice the length of the inhalation 8 -10 seconds for the former, 4 - 5 for the later, tuck in the chin for jalandara bandha, engage uddiyana bandha at the end of the exhalation which in turn activates mula bandha.

Alternatively take your kumbhaka after the inhalation, 5, 10, 20 seconds perhaps with mantra (pranayama mantra) stay for five minutes or 6, 12 even 24 breaths then fold forward into the more familiar asana and take the shorter kumbhaka after the exhalation. Repeat directly on the other side or take your Vinyasa and enter the second side following a welcome Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.
We might choose approximately 10 asana to practice this way or in our regular practice we might choose one asana only to inhabit longer, a different posture explored each day or perhaps each week.

see the permenant #proficientprimary project page at the top of the blog
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/p/proficient-primary-project.html

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

4. Maha Mudra (great seal) ‪#‎proficientprimaryproject‬

Maha Mudra (great seal) ‪#‎proficientprimaryproject‬ 


Essentially the point of the Proficient Primary Project is to approach asana as mudra.
Traditionally hand gestures accompanying Mantras, Krishnamacharya's third son T.K. Sribhashyam informs us that mudras later entered yoga as full body postures, the intention was always the same however, to unite the body and mind.

Mudra have always been executed with Ujjayi breathing, the exhalation tends to be longer than the inhalation, the breathing is slower than in regular asana practice, a point of focus is maintained, kumbhaka is employed, traditionally after exhalation and bandha are employed. Maha mudra is called the great seal because mula bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandara bandha are all employed effectively.

Ramaswami, following Krishnamacharya, encouraged us to practice maha mudra for five minutes each side every day, it was to be considered a key element in our daily practice. However mudra can be practiced at any time, I will often practice it in the evening followed by baddha konasana then settle into padmasana for pranayama and a Sit.

Maha mudra may also be practiced in regular Ashtanga practice, pausing the count for six, twelve perhaps twenty-four breaths before folding into Janu Sirsasana.


In the next ‪#‎proficientprimarypost‬ I'll present other asymmetric Primary postures that might be practiced/explored as mudra.


see perhaps my earlier full body mudra post.
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2010/04/full-body-mudra.html


Appendix



About the Proficient Primary Project




Proficient Primary Project. #proficientprimaryproject

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. 




In Krishnamacharya table of asana in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941) he included three groups of asana, Primary, Middle and Proficient. Primary and Middle were turned into the Primary and Intermediate (2nd) series by Krishnamacharya's student Pattabhi Jois mostly following the order of the table. The proficient group with other asana Krishnamacharya was teaching at the time came to be taught by Pattabhi Jois as Advanced series A and B (later 3rd,4th, 5th and 6th series). I'm choosing in this project to think of proficiency as an approach to asana rather than a category of asana. Few will manage to practice all the asana Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya presented, Krishnamacharya never thought it necessary that we should ( although perhaps a few of us). Krishnamacharya never it seems intended asana to be fixed in a series, most of us will never complete 2nd series, many will not complete Primary. However if we maintain our practice for a number of years, even if we practice only half the primary group or series of asana along with our pranayama we can still develop proficiency in our asana practice, explore the asana we have in ever more subtlety of breath and bandha and focus. Advanced practice can look like this.



It is not necessary to switch ones whole practice overnight ( if at all) to longer, slower breathing with longer stays and perhaps kumbhaka, resulting in less asana practiced. We might begin with just one asana, a different asana each practice. Regular Ashtanga of course already includes longer stays in finishing.


Sharath - Baddha Konasana

I had thought about making my earlier 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.

A hashtag?

#proficientprimaryproject

Update: In response to a question: Can I join the 'project' and use the hashtag? Yes of course , please do, add the hashtag to your own proficient primary photos/videos 


Uddiyana bandha
Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

Monday, 28 March 2016

3. Tatakamudra #proficientprimaryproject

3. Tatakamudra (pond gesture)


Tatakamudra #proficientprimaryproject

Tatakamudra (pond gesture)

I tend to include Tatakamudra in any practice, usually before sarvangasana (shoulderstand). It can be practiced with the arms above the head, fingers entwined and turned palms outward or with the arms by the side palms downward.

As a mudra Tatakamudra can be practiced at any point in our practice or indeed, outside our regular practice.

Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

Drishti/concentration: Inhalation - from big toe to the top of the head. Exhalation - tip of the nose.

Uddiyana bandha doesn't need to be this fully engaged it can be a much more subtle engagement such that it becomes possible on the retention after inhalation, indeed subtle uddiyana banddha might be maintained throughout the practice as in Ashtanga Vinyasa, engaged more fully at times depending on the asana.

Tatakamudra mudra along with Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) are considered ideal postures for focussing on developing and exploring uddiyana bandha.



Appendix



About the Proficient Primary Project






Proficient Primary Project. #proficientprimaryproject

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. 




In Krishnamacharya table of asana in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941) he included three groups of asana, Primary, Middle and Proficient. Primary and Middle were turned into the Primary and Intermediate (2nd) series by Krishnamacharya's student Pattabhi Jois mostly following the order of the table. The proficient group with other asana Krishnamacharya was teaching at the time came to be taught by Pattabhi Jois as Advanced series A and B (later 3rd,4th, 5th and 6th series). I'm choosing in this project to think of proficiency as an approach to asana rather than a category of asana. Few will manage to practice all the asana Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya presented, Krishnamacharya never thought it necessary that we should ( although perhaps a few of us). Krishnamacharya never it seems intended asana to be fixed in a series, most of us will never complete 2nd series, many will not complete Primary. However if we maintain our practice for a number of years, even if we practice only half the primary group or series of asana along with our pranayama we can still develop proficiency in our asana practice, explore the asana we have in ever more subtlety of breath and bandha and focus. Advanced practice can look like this.



It is not necessary to switch ones whole practice overnight ( if at all) to longer, slower breathing with longer stays and perhaps kumbhaka, resulting in less asana practiced. We might begin with just one asana, a different asana each practice. Regular Ashtanga of course already includes longer stays in finishing.



Sharath - Baddha Konasana

I had thought about making my earlier 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.

A hashtag?

#proficientprimaryproject

Update: In response to a question: Can I join the 'project' and use the hashtag? Yes of course , please do, add the hashtag to your own proficient primary photos/videos 


Uddiyana bandha
Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

2. Sirsasnana #proficientprimaryproject

2. Sirsasana


Sirsasana #proficientprimaryproject 

Sirsasana, no variations.

twenty five breaths, 
two breaths a minute. 
10 sec. Inhalation
5 sec. kumbhaka 
10 sec. Exhalation
5 sec. Kumbhaka 

1. Start with slowing the breath down to 8-10 seconds for inhalation and the same for exhalation.

2. Add 2 second kumbhaka (breath retention) after inhalation (can't employ full jalandhara bandha here with the chin lock so instead, swallow at the end of inhalation to close throat.

3. Once 5 second kumbhaka is comfortable introduce 2 sec kumbhaka after exhalation with Mula and Uddiyana bandha- build up to five second.

Followed by ten minutes of variations in Sirsasana with appropriate breathing.




Appendix



About the Proficient Primary Project




Proficient Primary Project. #proficientprimaryproject

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. 




In Krishnamacharya table of asana in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941) he included three groups of asana, Primary, Middle and Proficient. Primary and Middle were turned into the Primary and Intermediate (2nd) series by Krishnamacharya's student Pattabhi Jois mostly following the order of the table. The proficient group with other asana Krishnamacharya was teaching at the time came to be taught by Pattabhi Jois as Advanced series A and B (later 3rd,4th, 5th and 6th series). I'm choosing in this project to think of proficiency as an approach to asana rather than a category of asana. Few will manage to practice all the asana Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya presented, Krishnamacharya never thought it necessary that we should ( although perhaps a few of us). Krishnamacharya never it seems intended asana to be fixed in a series, most of us will never complete 2nd series, many will not complete Primary. However if we maintain our practice for a number of years, even if we practice only half the primary group or series of asana along with our pranayama we can still develop proficiency in our asana practice, explore the asana we have in ever more subtlety of breath and bandha and focus. Advanced practice can look like this.



It is not necessary to switch ones whole practice overnight ( if at all) to longer, slower breathing with longer stays and perhaps kumbhaka, resulting in less asana practiced. We might begin with just one asana, a different asana each practice. Regular Ashtanga of course already includes longer stays in finishing.


Sharath - Baddha Konasana

I had thought about making my earlier 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.

A hashtag?

#proficientprimaryproject

Update: In response to a question: Can I join the 'project' and use the hashtag? Yes of course , please do, add the hashtag to your own proficient primary photos/videos 


Uddiyana bandha
Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

Friday, 25 March 2016

1. Baddha Konasana #proficientprimaryproject

1. Baddha Konasana 




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.


Appendix



About the Proficient Primary Project



Proficient Primary Project. #proficientprimaryproject

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. 




In Krishnamacharya table of asana in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941) he included three groups of asana, Primary, Middle and Proficient. Primary and Middle were turned into the Primary and Intermediate (2nd) series by Krishnamacharya's student Pattabhi Jois mostly following the order of the table. The proficient group with other asana Krishnamacharya was teaching at the time came to be taught by Pattabhi Jois as Advanced series A and B (later 3rd,4th, 5th and 6th series). I'm choosing in this project to think of proficiency as an approach to asana rather than a category of asana. Few will manage to practice all the asana Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya presented, Krishnamacharya never thought it necessary that we should ( although perhaps a few of us). Krishnamacharya never it seems intended asana to be fixed in a series, most of us will never complete 2nd series, many will not complete Primary. However if we maintain our practice for a number of years, even if we practice only half the primary group or series of asana along with our pranayama we can still develop proficiency in our asana practice, explore the asana we have in ever more subtlety of breath and bandha and focus. Advanced practice can look like this.


It is not necessary to switch ones whole practice overnight ( if at all) to longer, slower breathing with longer stays and perhaps kumbhaka, resulting in less asana practiced. We might begin with just one asana, a different asana each practice. Regular Ashtanga of course already includes longer stays in finishing.



Sharath in baddha konasana


I had thought about making my earlier 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.

A hashtag?

#proficientprimaryproject

Update: In response to a question: Can I join the 'project' and use the hashtag? Yes of course , please do, add the hashtag to your own proficient primary photos/videos 


Uddiyana bandha
Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

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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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