Sunday, 13 September 2009

Vinyasa Krama Kapotanasana ?

Didn't make it to the Shala this morning. Woke up at 5am but didn't need to be at the station until 6;30 so allowed myself to doze, next thing I knew it was 6;45. Spent the next two hours trying to decide what to practice at home.

I found myself a bit confused, this morning, as to where I was going with my practice. I'd settled into a nice Vinyasa Krama routine, over the last couple of weeks that was evolving and developing nicely. But then I'd practiced that Primary on Tuesday evening on a whim, and loved it ( Plus there were also those amazing videos of Laruga's practice on her blog ). As I was planning on visiting the Shala this morning I practiced Ashtanga for the rest of the week, trying to practice it with Vinyasa Krama in mind, slowing it down, focusing strongly on the breath and finishing with some Pranayama, meditation and even some Chanting.

Reading Yoga Mala again in the week I found those elements stressed by Ramaswami in Vinyasa Krama to be just as emphasised by Jois in his book. Ashtanga, though dynamic as a result of all the full and half Vinyasas still advises long slow, steady inhaling and exhaling and plenty of it. It also recommends you stay in key poses for extended periods, just as Vinyasa Krama does.

Ramaswami recommends that you study and practice the sequences in his book until you've learned them and then develop a practice that best suits you, choosing from the sub-routines in his book and practicing some key postures daily, finishing your practice with Pranayama, Meditation and ideally some chanting. Krishnamacharya developed several such sequences over 70 years ago that we continue to practice today. Perhaps those Ashtanga sequences aren't for everyone but they do seem to pretty much suit me, for now at least.

And yet I also like the flexibility of Vinyasa Krama. I'm becoming familiar with the asanas and sub-routines now and am more able to, occasionally, add postures to my basic practice where I feel they may be beneficial.

For now at least, I'll continue to practice Ashtanga while keeping Vinyasa Krama (and Yoga Mala) firmly in mind. Slowing the practice down as much as possible, with the breath ever paramount. Because of it's dynamism a certain level of fitness is required and once a week doesn't seem to be enough.

So the new plan is to practice Primary and Intermediate twice a week each and Vinyasa Krama the rest of the week pretty much as laid out in the daily practice plan on the blog side bar. I'll continue changing the sequence on those three days while continuing to learn the sequence and improve my understanding of the sub routines.

So in the end, I decided on Intermediate this morning and it turned into a nice practice. Back bends went particularly well. I added a couple more of the back bend asanas from the Bow sequence and managed to come up from Kapo for the first time in ages. I also came up from Urdhva Danurasana for the first time in several months, something I'd just stopped bothering with. It turned into a long practice though, two hours plus another half hour of PMC (Pranayama, Meditation and Chanting).

This is a long slow Kapo build up with a rest, you might want to jump ahead.

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