Wednesday, March 24, 2010

576/307 Consistency.

I have this sneaky suspicion that there is something to this regular consistent practice.

Wednesday last week D re-added supta vajrasana.
Yesterday bakasana was added <-- not that I can figure out how to "Sprung nach vorne, Balance auf den geraden Armen, die gebeugten Beine in der Luft*" nor do I have the correct / adequate strength yet.
But progress is being / will be made.

And oddly enough, I'm finding supta vajrasana quite enjoyable.

Dare I say it?
I'm starting to enjoy 2nd series.

*jump forward balancing on straight arms, bend legs in the air,

* * *

I realize that I haven't spoken much about the workshop out in Charlottesville with John Campbell. I probably burnt out a bit on talking about it. Suffice it to say, it was an amazing experience - he truly is a fantastic teacher. Not one of those "big names," but certified and more importantly simply and honestly a solid teacher.

There was a lot of depth to what he had to say and his adjustments. And when I did pause my practice it was interesting watching him work with those there who were unfamiliar with Mysore style and the students who were more advanced. But of the two, it was really good watching/hearing him work with the beginning students. In lecture it was really good to hear him talk about the practice and the philosophy surrounding it - giving a depth to the practice which the academic in me believes is really important.

He talked a bit about how he goes about teaching Mysore style - really taking the time, spending the time to lay the foundation for the rest of the system. First week is sun-salutations A/B and the basic finishing postures. Period. Then going in to how this is a very conservative system, rooted in how things were traditionally/culturally taught - by pure memorization, something that is not valued in contemporary society. A lost art if you will. He gave the example of young children in India begin taught the Vedas, before they could even begin to fathom their meanings they learn the exact words and the exact pronunciations and intonations (like learning the vinyasas). Which of course also lends itself to learning Sanskrit and going back to the original texts to be able to understand the nuance of word and phrase choice.

In terms of asana there were nuance differences, but such is the nature of this practice or any other practice. A student picks up the habits and nuance of their teacher whether they like it or not, ultimate fidelity will always be lost unless going to "original" source material.

His work with me on tiriang mukhottanasana (a/k/a chakra bhandasana) on the Saturday was amazing and still dumbfounds me that my body/back could get that depth. He had me ultimately at my upper calves, straight legs standing by lightly holding me up by his fore and middle fingers pressed lightly on each ASIS. He really exploited my back flexibility by use of breath. I wasn't cranked and yanked into the pose. Of course, I freaked out and my breath got choked when I realized where I was and sprung up slightly bewildered.

Ultimately, the weekend showed just how important the correct vinyasas
with solid breath are as the mechanisms for delivering a solid asana within the sequence.


Anonymous said...

One does grow to like 2nd; it takes a while but the turnover is (in my experience) sudden and pretty profound.

The JC workshop sounds fantastic; I'm workshop-free right now due to too much life and seventh series, but I am eagerly looking forward to whatever presents itself next.


Portside said...

Good to hear from you Patrick!

Yeah I hadn't expected to start to actually like 2nd; however, I did notice that I began to miss it with my hand injury.

Yes the workshop was fantastic! If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with him, it is most certainly worth it - there are some things I'm sure people would quibble about. But really, it's rare that there is ever a teacher who is 100% perfect for a person.

Too much life and 7th series are certainly fantastic things in and of themselves - you seem to be finding a balance. :)

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these yoga books?

Portside said...

SFAuthor - I'm certainly familiar with the titles.

Boodiba said...

I still haven't gotten a Chakra Bandasana out of him! Hmmph. I think I'm going thru a "hazing" now that he's got me for a year.

Portside said...

That's one way to look at it. :) FWIW, this was within a workshop setting so I'd venture that he was letting some things "slide" that he would normally harp on within a regular morning practice.

Boodiba said...

Ya he got into it very quickly when I was there for a limited time period. I think I'll be settled in about a month or two. I do hope he splits me though because I feel like I'm in a race every morning. I don't want to do such a long practice more than 3x a week that's for sure.