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It's JUST asana..... how many times have I written that here the last few years?It's just asana, it helps get rid of the rajas, then pranayama gets rid of the tamas putting you in the ideal, the more satvic, state for meditation.We pract...
It's JUST asana..... how many times have I written that here the last few years?It's just asana, it helps get rid of the rajas, then pranayama gets rid of the tamas putting you in the ideal, the more satvic, state for meditation.We practice asana, then pranayama, then meditation.Krishnamacharya chapter and verse!Asana is the warm up act or perhaps the warm up to the warm up act.And yet....... Here's Krishnamacharya right here....seems to be taking his asana VERY seriously.VERY seriously"In caturanga dandasana, there are 4 angulas of space between the body and the floor everywhere. In this asana, the palms and toes are as in caturanga dandasana. However even while keeping the lower part of the body from the toes to the thighs just as in caturanga dandasana, raise the upper part of the body. Make sure that the navel rests between the hands and do puraka kumbhaka. Try to push the chest as far forward as possible, lift the face up and keep gazing at the tip of the nose. Make the effort to practise until it becomes possible to remain in this posture for fifteen minutes". Krishnamacharya -Yoga Makaranda.'Puraka kumbhaka' retention of the breath after the inhalation. We find this and retention after the exhalation a lot in Krishnamacharya's early writing, as if he is bringing pranayama into the asana practice.For Krishnamacharya, it's all about the breath, whether it's his interpretation of the yoga sutras or his interpretation of asana, 'it's the breath stupid'.Yoga Sutra II-47 “??????????????????????????????????”“prayatnashithilyanantasamapattibhyam”"prayatna - effort (of life which is breathing)saithilya - smooth (make it smooth)ananta-samapattibhyam: ananta -breath samapattibhyam - focusing on itBy making the breath smooth (and long), and by concentration or focussing the mind on the breath, the perfection of the posture is obtained. Note: Krishnamacharya interprets this sutra differently than other teachers. he gives the correct technical meaning (in this context) fromn prayatna or Jivana prayatna, or effort of life which is breath. he says that it is the breath that should be made smooth and effortless, not the posture. it is not physical; it is the breathing" Srivatsa RamaswamiNot enough to bring Pranayama into the practice of asana, Krishnamacharya brings a breath focus to getting in and out of the asana. From standing, each movement is linked to the appropriate inhalation or exhalation, moving towards the asana where, more often than not, kumbhaka's are performed, before moving back again to standing, back to the beginning, each movement linked to the appropriate inhalation or exhalation.In a word ,VINYASA.Krishnamacharya's practice was a breathing practice.He would also explore variations of asana and seemed to link the asana into groups, later this seems to have been formalised even further by Krishnamacharya's student Pattabhi Jois.Pattabhi Jois appears to have organised/developed a number of relatively fixed sequence of asana, performed in the vinyasa approach of Krishnamacharya and taken from the myriad asana and variations of asana that Krishnamacharya presented.But now, not only would one asana be linked to the movements in and out of the formal posture but all the asana would be linked, as John Scott points out, referring to Pattabhi Jois' book, a mala a Yoga mala.A mala is a string of beads used in japa (mantra) meditation. We hold it in our hands and count each repetition of a mantra by moving one of the beads on a string.Japa, is a meditation practice.If Krishnamacharya's approach to asana is a 'Pranayamic'Pattabhi Jois' approach to practicing asana appears meditative.Of course it is, we know this, I'm sure we've all experienced it (on good days), suspected it at least, it's a fixed sequence of postures that we perform day after day, repetitive, its bound to be(come) meditative.Of course we get distracted, wrapped up in certain asana that we're struggle with or a little carried away when the
about 4 hours ago
This morning I wrote: “yoga stretching is a bitch!” WHAT!?I don’t use bad words in posts. But supta-kurmasana is a bitch! I can’t help it.my sorry attempt at Supta-KurmasanaAnd, I know, I’m breaking bad, I’m tearing down my own previousl...
This morning I wrote: “yoga stretching is a bitch!” WHAT!?I don’t use bad words in posts. But supta-kurmasana is a bitch! I can’t help it.my sorry attempt at Supta-KurmasanaAnd, I know, I’m breaking bad, I’m tearing down my own previously decorated rule of never using ‘bad’ words.But the first thing I read in the morning was a Tweet from Louis C. K., who IS the yogi with my utmost respect these days: “That shit is foul” he tweeted.Sometimes (often) my life is not “consistent” with what is supposed to be the yoga ideal.Here are 14(?) things that happen to you when you’ve been onto yoga for a long time:- Peace has the sound “pee” in it. “Peace”sounds too funny for a chant!So you use the word “shanti” more than its English counter-part. And you read somewhere that the “ahh” sound in shaaanti, is the first sound of creation, as in aaa-u-m. MMmmm, now you feel so erudite.- You really, REALLY, want to experience the union in yoga. You are not just you butt, but also that tree, the parking lot, the forest.And you pray to merge your little bubble-of-water-and-salt, into the ocean.- Then you sit in silence for a while and it just ain’t feeling so. You read stories from those who experienced kundalini, they sprout in your mind, and you envy them. I get JEALOUS of Buddha. What Th…?- And then you read some enlightened person who tells you it only happens by 'grace', you unworthy piece of shit, and you say: Fuck!, but you say it only to yourself, cause if out loud, it violates saucha. Cleanliness, my dear! Cleanliness, for god’s sake. I want to cry.- And you are waaay pass the point where you wanna police people on their yoga. You know how it goes: my yoga is better than yours, oorrrr, you don’t know shit, so shut up, and the like.You start to not give a shit. What they do. Who they studied with. Well, sometimes I still feel competitive. I have to own that also.You have your own unique way of doing things.- Your practice is now YOUR OWN. It’s my own now, bitch! Please?- I find this very liberating. Having my own shit.- I’ve given myself a break, because all that pushing to get to 3rd or 17th series, to start pranayama, to quiet the senses, to start meditation, to reach liberation, while looking fabulous – it’s not working for me.I’m exhausted.- And meditation has become ‘just sitting in silence’ for me. For one hour a day. No pressures. No doing. No lotus. Nut-n.- Because, let’s face it, when Pattabhi Jois said “meditation = mad-attention” he was speaking to one person in particular, not the whole-wide-web, and that does not give me the excuse to never sit in silence. I can sit and do whatever I want.- So I just sit in silence. Every day. One hour. Nothing to do, or strive for, and no religion, too.And you know what the funny part is?It’s in the sitting in silence, that I find the need to do some of those yoga breathing techniques I learned throughout the years, not the other way around.It’s in the sitting in silence, that I notice that what I ate does not agree with my body. Not the other way around.It’s in the sitting in silence, that I see how the deep back bends help me maintain the pose. Not the other way around.James read this and said: “this is some tight shit”.
about 4 hours ago
Yesterday I had a highlight during my yoga practice: I could grasp my wrist in pashasana. Usually I hook the fingers. Wow, that was a deep twist. What a surprise, tooYet after one hour of practice I couldn't go on anymore. Energy was use...
Yesterday I had a highlight during my yoga practice: I could grasp my wrist in pashasana. Usually I hook the fingers. Wow, that was a deep twist. What a surprise, tooYet after one hour of practice I couldn't go on anymore. Energy was used up. Nothing seemed to be possible anymore. I stopped.I tried to find a reason for this exhaustion. The night before I stretched my body again at night. This might have been too much. One practice during a day is enough for me.Today I was busy with preparing my trip to the US. Our home here must be so nice that we like to return. I cleaned, discarded things, mainly bags. Do we collect bags, too? I ironed a mountain of clothes. The battery of our alarm clock has ended his life, I got a new one.My new vacuum cleaner is fantastic. It's such a difference to the old one. I got enthusiastic.And now it's late. Dark.Tomorrow is Thursday. Primary is on the schedule. I'm looking forward to my practice. I'll spice it up with third series asanas. There is so much to learn......
about 4 hours ago
i had this for breakky! only w/ butter, not ghee. MT @MBG_Editor: An Avocado Toast That Will Knock Your Socks Off
i had this for breakky! only w/ butter, not ghee. MT @MBG_Editor: An Avocado Toast That Will Knock Your Socks Off
about 6 hours ago
help @daniel_baylis crack $10K in his crowdfunding campaign for his self-published book, the traveller!
help @daniel_baylis crack $10K in his crowdfunding campaign for his self-published book, the traveller!
about 6 hours ago
I got the opportunity recently to sit in a room with a couple hundred women to listen to their words of wisdom. It was an invitation I couldn’t refuse, and let me just tell you, this room was packed with so much energy, love, and power –...
I got the opportunity recently to sit in a room with a couple hundred women to listen to their words of wisdom. It was an invitation I couldn’t refuse, and let me just tell you, this room was packed with so much energy, love, and power – I was on a goddess-infused high for the rest of the day. This women-only forum, aptly named “The Sisterhood,” was held during one of the at-sea days on a Dave Koz jazz cruise and featured a star-studded panel of incredible females including Mindi Abair, Keiko Matsui, Glynis Albright, Pat Prescott, Talaya Trigueros, and Sheila E. The panel and the participants in the room were all asked to share words of wisdom from their lives. The discussion ranged from how to experience more joy and peace, to what has helped foster healthy relationships and communication. Some of the wisdom came from their mothers, some from the school of hard knocks, some from personal experience, but it all came from the heart. Part of the panel: Glynis Albright, Shiela E, Mindi Abair, and Talaya Trigueros What were some of the words of wisdom? Have gratitude and love in your life. It’s easy to feel gratitude when you first wake up, but inevitably something bad can happen that can overtake your day, something that causes you to take your focus away from the good. Don’t let that happen; stay focused on the good things in life! When you look at things through the eyes of compassion, you can let go of your judgment and everything just seems to be alright. Don’t hate. Congratulate! Be gentle and kind to yourself. Tell the truth, for it will set you free. Of course, I was taking copious notes during the session, and as I was writing all these words of wisdom down, I couldn’t help but smile. No, this wasn’t a yoga retreat. These were jazz musicians, radio hosts, and wives of musicians, and they were all sharing pieces of their wisdom. But to me, all this wisdom appeared tied to the teachings of yoga. Having gratitude for what you have in your life is the same as santosha, one of the niyamas from the eight limbs of yoga as outlined in the The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" target="_blank">Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Being compassionate and lifting up people who are successful instead of being jealous of them are both part of the four keys to happiness as outlined in the yoga sutras. Being gentle and kind to you is the same concept of practicing ahimsa, one of the yamas, which covers the practice of non-harmful behavior. And telling the truth is the same thing as satya, another one of the yamas. How cool is it that these women in essence were all speaking about what we do both on and off our mats when we practice yoga? This makes me feel very wise indeed! Not all of the wisdom imparted applied directly to the teachings of yoga, but I want to share a few more of these pearls of wisdom regardless. Keiko Matsui talking about making dreams come true! Keiko Matsui talked about the importance of visualizing your dreams. She explained that when she can visualize a dream, as long as she believes in the dream and applies hard work to it, the reality of it comes faster and faster. Glynis Albright encouraged all of the women to learn to be sisters again, to love one another and not be so hard on each other. We need to be more kind to the women in our lives, to lift them up and support them. Amen, Glynis! There was a lot of love in that cruise ship lounge, and I promise to write more about this event, but I’ll leave you with one last thought that was shared by Sheila E. She reminded us that we have so much power that we don’t realize we have. Make sure you use your power for good and share it with others –this can be as simple as sharing a smile or a hug. I’ll take you out with a song by In Hi-Fi Stereo">Mindi Abair, dedicated to all the ladies and a reminder that we are all beautiful! Click here to view the embedded video.
about 7 hours ago
As I mentioned in last week's post, for the next six weeks I will be making my way through the Chakras and yoga poses that help bring awareness and energy to that part of the body. This week we are on the second chakra, or the Svadisthan...
As I mentioned in last week's post, for the next six weeks I will be making my way through the Chakras and yoga poses that help bring awareness and energy to that part of the body. This week we are on the second chakra, or the Svadisthana Chakra. This is the Chakra associated with the hips, sacrum, kidneys, lower back, and genitals. I know. A lot. So many people seem to be tight in this part of the body or, worse, have chronic pain issues. Perhaps not surprisingly, this Chakra is associated with sexuality and sensuality; although, perhaps more importantly, it is also related to learning how to be more accepting of the situations life presents us. Water is the element associated with this chakra, so, in it, we learn how to "go with the flow." A deficiency in this chakra can look a lot like me: obstinate, workaholic, set in my ways, and a little repressed. I'm working on it.If you, too, seem a little stuck in this part of your body, here is a longer hip-opening sequence to help get things moving! 1/2 happy babyLeg moving across body into #4 stretch (shin crossing thigh). Cross leg over for Eagle legs twistRepeat steps 1-3 on other sideFull happy babyTableTake leg out to side at 90 degree angleDraw circles with leg, both directionsDownward DogForward FoldTadasana (Mountain Pose)Tree with leg you had drawn circles with in tableVinyasa to DDRepeat steps 7-13Forward FoldChairVinyasaDownward DogWarrior IIGoddess or Horse Stance (long hold)Warrior IIHigh LungeHands interlaced behind back , heart opener and then forward fold ("Humble Warrior")Inhale to come back upExhale both hands to inside of foot, lizard pose (long hold)Float back to plankSide plank on hand that is on same side as foot that had been forwardPlankVinyasaRepeat from Forward Fold (Step 15) and Chair (16) until another Vinyasa (step 29)Frog Pose (2 minutes)Bridge Pose with a block in between thighs (2 minutes)Supine twistsSavasana
about 8 hours ago
Fox News host Anna Kooiman reported a fictitious headline about President Obama as fact after reading a parodied news story. The story, titled “Obama Uses Own Money to Open Muslim Museum Amid Government Shutdown” was featured...
Fox News host Anna Kooiman reported a fictitious headline about President Obama as fact after reading a parodied news story. The story, titled “Obama Uses Own Money to Open Muslim Museum Amid Government Shutdown” was featured on parody news site National Report.  In it, President Obama was quoted as saying that the shutdown is “a great […]
about 9 hours ago
Tree pose at Cypress Gardens (if you've ever seen The Notebook, it may look familiar)Beautiful chilly morning here in the South, lots of snuggle time, warm drinks and of course some yoga! I wanted to update on my 100 Days 100 Poses quest...
Tree pose at Cypress Gardens (if you've ever seen The Notebook, it may look familiar)Beautiful chilly morning here in the South, lots of snuggle time, warm drinks and of course some yoga! I wanted to update on my 100 Days 100 Poses quest, since the whole point is to be accountable for your practice...here are some things that I have learned this far;1. I absolutely love my home practice. Nothing is better than getting on my mat and starting that familiar dance. Stress, anxiety and most everything else melts into the background.2. My kids, my faithful photographers, have become amazing with yoga photo-styling as well as highly motivated to do yoga with me. A huge bonus!3. My courage is increasing.4. I have an amazing space in which to practice, for which I am highly grateful.5. I am excited to share what I learn on my mat with others, renewing my fire to teach and share this beautiful practice.There. Perfectly good reasons to get on your own yoga mat at home and witness what may come up. I will continue to share my journey and hopefully inspire you to start/continue your own.Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks from the mat....Headstand at Barefoot Yoga
about 10 hours ago
I think I have the best sister out there. Don’t be jealous—I know that other great ones exist; but, my sister buys me jewelry, and not just any jewelry, but meaningful gems for my geologically-inspired heart. She thinks my ne...
I think I have the best sister out there. Don’t be jealous—I know that other great ones exist; but, my sister buys me jewelry, and not just any jewelry, but meaningful gems for my geologically-inspired heart. She thinks my neurotic hang-ups are not only nothing, but sweet and cute. She makes me feel beautiful, and special […]
about 10 hours ago