Monday, 7 March 2011

Ramaswami's chanting on the 2011 Vinyasa Krama Teacher Training Course + Injury watch update

One of my fondest memory's of Ramaswami's Vinyasa Krama course was his chanting. So I was delighted yesterday to come across a file, while cleaning up my Hard drive, called 'Voice recorder'. Turned out the the file contained a handful of recordings I'd made on my itouch, of Ramaswami's chanting. The only way I could think to share them is as background to a movie, here's a slideshow with pictures taken on the course by my friend Barry Wadsworth.

The course is coming up again and I hope the pictures give you a bit of a feel for it, they're mostly from the morning asana class and are predominantly asana. By the end of the week we would incorporate other elements from the course into that morning class, the asana followed by pranayama and meditation. There are a few shots where you can see pictures of Krishnamacharya by our mats in poses that we try to recreate, following our Krishnamacharya class. My favourite shots are the ones where we take a break from asana and gather around for 'story time' perhaps a story related to a posture, Vajrasana say or Durvasana perhaps. Some of the postures are quite challenging but there was never any pressure, you attempted what you were comfortable with.

The first sound clip is a variation of the Ganesha and Patanjali prayers in a different meter than I'm familiar with from Ramaswami's other recording's. I was dying to record this more playful version but you never knew which one he would do, so delighted last night to find I'd captured it after all.

The second segment of chanting (starting at 1:20 ) is what I'm most excited about finding. At the end of the two and a half hour morning asana class, Ramaswami would have us lay down in savasana and rest. He would open a little book or just wing it and chant 'till the end of class, it might be just a couple of minutes, five, ten or even, once, about twenty minutes. Ramaswami has such a calm, gentle voice when giving asana instruction that I remember being quite stunned when this big powerful chanting voice reverberated around the cavernous dance studio. But then it would wouldn't it, Ramaswami has recorded 40 audio cassettes and CD of chanting.


This morning, after practice, I put on the chant, laid down in Savasana and was transported back to that glorious summer. After an exhausting couple of hours practice, laying there with those ancient magical syllables doing their thing to your synapses for ten minutes is quite a powerful experience. I never expected to enjoy listening to chanting so much, or indeed chanting myself ( I also found a recording of our 'chanting the Yoga sutra's' class so will be doing that again after this post) but don't take my word for it, listen to it yourself after your next home practice or before going to sleep one night.

Injury Watch update
Re the back injury. It's getting a lot better, full expression of the postures in Primary and Intermediate on alternating days seems to have pretty much fixed it. I threw out the painkillers on Saturday, primary felt fine yesterday and this morning put the the Leg behind head and tittibhasana postures back into my 2nd and it felt OK although I did include a few extra VK prep postures before the LBH's though.

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