|from Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda (Mysore 1934)|
I'm bumping into this video all over the place this week...
I'm bumping into this video all over the place this week.
What somebody does or doesn't do in their practice is nothing to do with me and heaven knows I've explored some craziness myself in the past, including grabbing my humble ankles.
But for the life of me I can't understand why Sharath OFFICIALLY encourages and promotes such deep backBENDS, he frowns at handstands (fair enough) yet takes hands to calves and even thighs, it strikes me as... ill advised in the extreme and I'm more than half expecting a group action lawsuit some years down the line. Turning a blind eye to practitioner's joyous explorations in the privacy of their own homes, however perhaps foolhardy, is one thing, promoting, something else altogether.
I suspect that if he didn't 'encourage' such deep backbends in the Shala ( let alone having the no 2nd if you can't came back up rule) then less practitioners would bother to try it or anything else best left to professional contortionists.
I understand this alternative view may not be a popular one and as soon as I hit post I'm going to hide under the table.
I should also, of course, delete all my old videos working on this as well as those working on other advanced series postures I littered youtube with in the past, except that I'm nobody and Sharath has that Paramaguru hat and is taken a hell of a lot more seriously than I am.
Note: I personally don't even bother with Kapotasana any more but stop at Ustrasana which seems excessive enough, I can't remember the last time I bothered to drop back and come back up. What was that Krishnamacharya said and that Pattabhi repeated, Primary asana for everybody ( Mari D by the way used to be in the middle group of asana) Intermediate for teachers and advanced asana merely for demonstration.
Note 2: I've just 'liked' a video of a friend WORKING on this very thing on Insta. I can appreciate the work and commitment that goes into this approach to practice ( and I smiled delightedly to see another friend in this video) without approving of it's promotion.
Note 3 See the photo in comments of one of the BOYS of the Mysore palace that Krishnamacharya included in Yoga Makaranda. I'm just as critical of K. on this as Sharath and his grandfather.
Beautifully shot video though from Alessandro Sigismondi - See his comment in the comment section for more context. I take his point that this is an intermediate class but my understanding is that in the regular Mysore class proficient practitioner's among those who are less so are being encouraged to 'catch' that perhaps encouraging this aspect of practice in Ashtanga. Although I'm writing about 'catching here' given the video I actually feel the same way about dropping back and coming up.
Out of interest, does anyone know if Saraswati encourages this since taking over the Mysore Shala, I don't remember Manju 'stressing' this aspect of practice in the times I've practiced with him.
And thank you to Alessandro for this comment that puts the video above in some context.
Alessandro Sigismondi Well, I write this just because you tagged me even if I don't want to fuel any sort of controversy. I really appreciate your posts and your writings but in this case I think we have to make a distinction. As a photographer I like to show both aspects of human bodies. On one side inclusivity (portraying "normal" bodies doing "normal" things, on the other side "exceptions" or what the human body can be capable of doing. I find both approaches inspiring. The first one promotes body acceptance and body positivity, the second "entertains" showing that the body and the mind really can have no limits. I think it's the same when teaching yoga. A good yoga teacher has to be supportive to beginners or people with not such a great genetics, but can also encourage to play a bit people who are very gifted and worked since decades on their practice. This extract of a longer video has been taken during a led intermediate class and all the practitioners shown have 10 or even 20 years of daily practice and they are all working on the advance series (3th 4th or even 5th!). Those are the kind of people that Sharath encourages to catch their tights. When Sharath was coming to adjust me he was always saying: "catching!" And then adding with a smile "next life" 😏
In another comment from somebody else on my fb post, David Robson is quoted in a video
"David Robson states in this video (around 2:00), "there's a lot of emphasis on that in Mysore right now." When asked why, he laughingly cites Sharath, "no point, just fun." He then explains it away as a test of equanimity".
The ‘Camel Train’: Safely Doing Simple to Complex Backward-bending Postures and Movements
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