Thursday, January 14, 2016
Primary - key words
Primary, the first Ashtanga yoga series aims mainly on enlarging the flexibility of the hips, in terms of all forward bending position. In terms of the vinyasas it strengthens the upper body.
Hip flexibility and strong upper body are for me the key words when I think of primary.
There are 2 twists, yes. There are few asanas that require balancing skills. Setu bandhasana is for me a pose at the end that rather shows if one is strong enough in the meantime than it is a real back bending asana.
P.Jois taught his students rather quickly second series. The students didn't even realize when they started practicing second series. This makes so much sense. In order to have a balanced practice one must have back bending asanas (and not only urdhva dhanurasana at the end).
I practice daily at home. From Monday to Thursday I focus on second series. I do different exercises re back bending. My practice is not pain free, but my days are mainly pain free.
A few days back I read something interesting. Cancer survivors were interviewed. Doctors had told them that the life expectancy should be under a year. But these survivors lived all much much longer, up to a decade. The treatment was different. What had they all in common? They believed that they would heal.
All the exercises that doctors recommend when having back pain remind me of yoga poses. I keep practicing but with a lot of awareness.
The picture is 4 years old. I don't want to interrupt my practice these days.
I set my timer to 90 min. Then my practice is usually over. This is enough. Within that time frame a satisfying practice must happen. Then I do pranayama, meditation and relaxation. Sometimes these yoga exercises are even within this time frame. It feels good. Pranayama gives me so much energy. The relaxation at the end is also more than good, It even feels deserved.
I even set a second timer. I challenge myself with headstand. Today I was up 1 min. This was easy. So tomorrow I want to be in headstand for 2 min. My goal is 5 min. The inversions need time to be effective.
I lost strength and flexibility, but I'm more than happy that I have the discipline to practice every day and that a practice is possible.
Tomorrow is primary and I'm looking forward to my practice.