Monday, January 11, 2016

Why sun salutations, why standing asanas?

1. Sun salutations.

The Ashtanga practice starts with the sun salutations. This is no accident. The purpose of the sun salutations is to get warm. Sun salutation B is a bit more challenging than sun salutation A. When the sun salutations are practice correctly they can be rather exhausting. The sun salutations built strength.
The sun salutations prepare the rhythm for the practice, too. There is surely much more to say, but I want to focus on what is most important.

With my aching sacroiliac joint sun salutation B is painful. So I omit it. When I feel that I got a nice warm up, I think it's perfect. Practicing variations of the asanas can be much better than sticking to the rules and order. When the purpose of the exercise is clear, it's easy to adjust the practice to the own needs.

2. The standing asanas.

For me the key word here is 'strong legs'. The standing asanas build the foundation. Strong legs are also required when bending forward or when bending backwards or when twisting. The habit to practice with strong legs and engaged bandhas are learned here.

Again, with this in mind, it's for me not necessary to follow the order of the asanas blindly. Important is to have strong legs and to ground oneself. Building stability is the core here. For me it's better to hold those asanas longer that feel good, than to do asanas that hurt. Trikonasana on the left side hurts.
I'm glad that I can do almost all the asanas except Trikanosana A left side and the hero poses.

I set a timer. One and a half hour is enough for me. To limit the asana practice gives me more time for my other activities. To have a practice that lasts in sum with all the showering and commuting longer than 4 hours, brought stress into my life. Within 90 min asana practice should be enough time to practice familiar asanas and to learn new ones.

Today I practiced second series till bakasana. For me it makes sense to practice the personal challenging asanas rather at the begin of an asana practice than at the end.
Yep I'm sad that my practice regressed, but this is forgotten when I'm on the mat. Then I breathe and I search my limits. Then I relax. The asanas must feel good.

Picture was taken 4 years ago. I'm so glad that I have documented my journey. It motivates me enormously. I want to get back where I've been.

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