Thursday, 28 July 2011

Holiday practice update.

I mentioned in the last post that I was using this holiday as an opportunity to review the Vinyasa Krama sequences as laid out in Ramaswami's book The complete guide to Vinyasa Yoga.

I hadn't planned on blogging till I came back but I'm having such a ball I can't help myself. I love these sequences. I don't tend to practice them this way anymore but rather build a practice from the subroutines from the different sequences or use the subroutines to modify my Ashtanga practice. This is such a joy though, love how the postures build upon each other, how the poses are related. It's like looking at a piano and seeing all the scales and chords laid out before you when your used to playing sax and having to hold everything in your head.

So far this week I've practiced
Monday : the full On your feet sequence
Tuesday : traveled half the day but practiced the Seated sequence when I got to the hotel.
Wednesday : the long Asymmetric sequence in the morning and the full On one leg sequence in the late afternoon early evening.
Thursday : Lotus sequence and then in the evening a kind of advanced Asymmetric and seated practice.

Tomorrow being Friday I'll stick with my Ashatana Primary for now but continue on through 2nd series. In the evening I want to look at some of the orphan subroutines from the back of Ramaswami's book

Saturday will be The long Supine sequence with the Inversion series in the afternoon.
That leaves the Bow and Meditative sequences for Sunday before heading home.

All of these practices start off with the short Tadasana sequence and a standing sequence built on the ashtanga format, some Sury's, Triangle and On one leg subroutines, been mixing those around all week, some I haven't practiced for ages. I finish off with Inversion vinyasas.

After the asana which have been taking two and a half hours or so ( making the most of being on holiday), I've been indulging in long Pranayama and meditation sessions, forty minutes each.

Lots of post ideas have come up, there are some tricky postures in each of the different Sequences so want to do some 'Focus on tricky posture' posts, leg behind head in Asymmetric say, Natarajasana in On one leg, that kind of thing,figure I can adapt some of the older posts on th ashtanga blog and update them for Vinyasa Krama. Suggestions welcome.

Strikes me that that's a very Ashtanga approach to blogging, how to get into postures and how the practice is going etc. Do other types of yoga blog differently, not sure I can go about it any other way though I fell less tied to the asana here.

The hotel has a pool so I've been jumping in for a swim and sauna three times a day.

Not a lot to eat around here, I went to a shop in the village, sorry THE shop in the village, for some fruit but there's nothing, not even an apple. No diet coke either, or even diet Pepsi ( not that I'd lower myself), twenty different types of red bullish drinks though but I don't touch the stuff. It's Like stepping back in time here, one village shop, a church and five pubs. Did I mention I grew up not that far from here.

So food has been a large breakfast, really large, after practice and that's pretty much it except for some Japanese rice crackers my much loved and appreciated Mother-in-law sent me from Japan for my birthday. Oh and tea, lots of tea.


  1. Grimmly, sounds like you are having fun. I somewhat forget those orphan sequences even exist. The only two that I ever remember and the end of the book are: surya namaskar and the igauna sequence.I just now remember the ding(?) namaskar.

  2. As a keen ashtangi who practices first and second I would love any tips and advice you may have on Eka Pada Sirsasana and how to keep the leg behind the head by itself. I'm currently holding the leg there with both hands. Are there any shorter sequences that would compliment the pose and help me progress?

  3. Hi anon, I want to do a series of posts on just this topic especially for those coming from Vinyasa Krama. I have some posts on it on the ashtanga blog on just this kind of thing but am using my iPad at the moment so hard to link.

    I guess you just have to get deeper into the posture such that you can roll your calf back so it's facing down the back, that helps. One way to get deeper is rather than trying to get the foot as far over as possible just get the foot behind the head but leaving more space to twist your body in towards the leg going behind the head, that seems to get it deeper. For a long time I was trying to pull my leg as far over as possible but just going a little way and twisting in seems to do the job more effectively. After you've twisted in straight ing up seems to take the leg into a more comfortable position helping it to stay put. I'll do a video of this when I get back to show what I mean.

    I also use archer and heron poses to lead into it they come just before it in Ramaswami's Asymmetric sequence I also bring my leg in front of my chest for a moment.

    I found working on flattening the knees in badha konasana for another pose allowed me to get my leg much further behind my head so that might help too.

    Hope that gives you a couple of things to try for now, like I said will do a post with videos on this soon.

  4. dear Grimmly
    i'm re-reading your post. it seems like this holiday was refreshing for you. i should do the same sometime. i tend to go on holidays where i pack so many things to see. it's nice to be looking inwards with the practice, and let that be the holiday.

  5. It was a nice break Arturo. I usually go on a reading week around now, Paris mostly because it's familiar and I'm not so tempted to spend my time sightseeing. this was perfect, apart from an hour walking along the beach in the morning I spent all my time on practice and reading, a nice retreat.