Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ramblings on exactness

In our shala is a shelf where all the blankets are. In the middle of the shelf is a sign and there stands: Please fold the blankets meticulously. The sign is framed in orange. What I see is that many of the blankets are almost thrown on the shelf, not at all folded precisely. So they practice the yogis and yoginis, I think, sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.
Yesterday I even had a strap that was twisted. Some people simply don't care.

Is it important to strive for perfection, to be accurate, I wonder?

- In some professions it's absolutely necessary. Imagine the doctor who performs a surgery works sloppy and you'll have an ugly scar afterwards. Or even worse he leaves an instrument in your belly because he's not concentrated during his work. A disaster.
- In my last profession as an accountant it was also very important to work precisely. I  search the reason for 0,10 cent difference. Behind this tiny figure a much bigger mistake could be hidden. Working sloppy as an accountant can lead to a wrong balance sheet, to wrong interpretations and even to the out of a company. In worst case.
- I'm not an engineer, but I want that the highrise I live in, is stable.

Is it important to work precisely when practicing yoga?
What can happen if a practice is sloppy?
Isn't it enough to move the body, to do anything, because also a sloppy practice is better than doing nothing at all?

In best case, I think a practice does not as much as it can do for a yogi/yogini. Nevertheless it's better than to do nothing. If it's even fun, it's fantastic. Why not.
In worst case a sloppy practice can lead to injuries. When there is put too much pressure on the shoulders day in day out, year in year out it might indeed lead to a serious injury and pain. It's not Ashtanga yoga that causes this, but the sloppy practice.

The approach to poses in Ashtanga yoga is: Do it first sloppy, if it's not possible to do it correctly and work towards "perfection". In other yoga styles one approaches slower to a pose.
An example:
In trikonasana the big toe is held even though the body cannot be yet parallel to the wall in Ashtanga yoga.
In other yoga styles the hand only holds the shin bone so that it can be guaranteed that the upper body has the correct position.

I'm a fan of accuracy in my body work as I want to get the most out of my practice and because I don't want to get injured. Details count. This requires a lot of time and practice and also self-study, I know, I know.
Precisely I want to match my breath with the movements today. Inhaling shall be as long as exhaling.
Of course I fold my blanket one corner above the other till it has the appropriate size to fit in the shelf.

My practice makes me modest.

 Picture: It's marichyasana D. It's one of the core poses of primary. Lately I heard that one shall not move the weight. The knee shall remain on the floor, the one hip will move towards the floor from alone with time. Interesting aspect.


Salma said...

I did this asana yesterday for the first time in class, it's difficult but the feeling was great!

Ursula said...

All twists feel great. It's so good for the spine and the inner organs. Enjoy. :)