Sunday, December 19, 2010
What exactly do I practice........
The goal is to practice as close to the series as possible. This is not always possible, because of lack of time, injuries, difficulty of an asana.........
It's the goal not to interrupt the series, because then the flow is interrupted. With flow the whole exercise becomes meditation in movement.
Not to omit an asana is important. There are exceptions, i.e. when injuries do not allow to do a pose. It can be possible that a yogi/yogini has to practice a similar exercise, because the body does not allow to practice the asana of the series, but this shall be temporarily. If we omit asanas, it might be that we refuse ourselves the experience to say one day: Wow, more is possible than I thought.
The inner game of Ashtanga yoga as described in my last post is more important than to add asanas. Correct breathing, lengthening the body when inhaling, going into the pose when exhaling, engaging muscles and bandhas, gazing at a point is what makes Ashtanga to Ashtanga. This is what helps performing the asanas and vinyasas.
- Before starting with the sun salutations I jump against the wall from downward dog with bent legs. I stretch them then so that I'm in handstand. This is new, but one of my focus is the vinyasa and this helps me to jump forward, It gives me trust that I don't fall over when I jump.
- I do full vinyasa nowadays at home and at Mysore class. Before my trip to India to THE shala in Gokulam I was not able to do vinyasas between sides. I was too weak. The practice is work in progress. I got stronger, I know I need more strength for certain asanas.
- In Mysore classes I get help for kurmasana and supta kurmasana. It's classic that yogis/yoginis get adjumstments here. When I'm at home, I add eka pada sirsasana, the second series asana (leg behind the head) and yoga nidra (both legs behind the head while lying on the back).These leg/legs behind the head asanas are important asanas, that's why I give it some more attention. Supta kurmasana needs improvement, too.
- Upavishta konasana: I hold this asanas longer than 5 breaths. In former times asanas were held 8 breaths. My chin does not touch the floor. I want to keep the back straight. Sometimes I repeat this asana, then I use my Indonasian chest to pull me forward.
- After supta hasta padangusthasana I exercise hanumanasana, this forward split pose, when I practice at home (not in Mysore classes). I use a block under my body. This surely interrupts the flow.
- Urdhva dhanurasana: I use a strap at home. I drop back against the wall. I arch back as much as possible. So I do a bit more here than simply going into the pose for 3 times.
In Mysore classes I don't use any props when I practice primary. I see that others do. We are all learning. The goal remains to stick to the series as close as possible!!!
When I practice second series, I need some more modifications and more adjustments. The goal is to get closer and closer to the series. They are very nice, I don't feel like changing them. If a yogi/yogini likes to add some asana if it fits, why not. The primary has 20 asanas in the middle part, this is enough for me. I rather think to add pranayama and meditation at the end. But so far savasana is my last post.
Each practice is new and different.
Eat healthy and do your practice.
Picture: My favourite grocery store round the corner.