Monday, April 8, 2013

Ashtanga Yoga Immersion thoughts....week 1

Father to Traditional Ashtanga
Pattabhi Jois

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga follows a strict (but flexible;)  set of guidelines that brings the student into a very particular experience called yoga.  This practice is a preparatory practice that is aimed to soften the hard shell, so to speak, and allow the individual to uncover the veil of confusion that is draped between them and the truth.

This strict requirement towards the correct method can scare away some students.  It is simple in description but not easy in practice.   Some students may mistakenly take the teachers suggestions as part of the guidelines instead of viewing them as they are... suggestions.

Others are "turned on" by the detailed attention to every aspect of the practice and feels this really helps resonate the truth that this practice creates deep forms of awareness of yourself.  Physically, emotionally and spiritually.

What should be seen as "correct method" is simple.  This is referring to the tristana method (3 points of focus) and the proper number of vinyasas used to perform any given asana.

Again.. Simple really.

So what are the three points of focus that must be maintain during the yoga asana practice?

1. Pranayama       -(breath)
2. Asana               -(Postures)
3. Drishti              -(gazing points)

These three simple points of attention can help create deep concentration (Dharana) and eventually will bring the student towards a state of meditation and absorption.  These Ashtanga Yoga techniques train you in how to observe the self.

Every vinyasa is laid out for the individual to connect these three points of attention to complete each action. The student then flows from one vinyasa to the next maintaining a constant attention to the 3 points... .Breath, Posture, Drishti!


well..... maybe not.

We can look at the breath first.  How many times do we find ourselves holding our breath throughout our yoga practice.  Do you hold your breath in classic spots like jumping back or jumping through?

If your holding your breath then you probably look this as you practice...

dont hold your breath till you turn blue!

We have to breath a every moment and with consciousness at every action.  This is part of the definition of Vinyasa - to place in a special way.

Thanks for that one wiki!

well.. for now when you jump through just think of this image instead

At least thats what your inner child will look like after you learn to jump through with your breath! To move with your breath is to experience what we like to refer to as "flowing"

Its a lot like floating down a lazy river.. going with the current and enjoying the show as it slides past you.  Dont worry if you missed anything because you know you will simply float around again.

Its also good to see the breath as fuel!  We need to keep filling up our tanks as we move through the practice.  If you stop breathing then the tank will run dry and the muscles will give out.

Pattabhi always said "no breathing, then pain coming soon!"  Pain is a result of losing prana... losing that inner connection with movement.

We can keep ourselves connected to the breath.  Its a promise we should all commit to.



1 comment:

  1. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written. 200 hr yoga teacher training in Rishikesh