Monday, 29 August 2011

Practice too long? more Mingus ( Goodbye pork Pie Hat ) some Pres and Lady day

Another excellent practice this morning but too long for daily practice. Asana ran to two and a half hours this morning and that's before pranayama and skimping a little on the Inversions.

One of the main reasons I have for practicing Vinyasa Krama rather than Ashtanga is that I can explore a group of postures more deeply, bring in more prep poses, stay in the key ones longer and then develop and explore the more advanced options. Yesterday and today I was exploring too many groups, nice for a holiday practice but not everyday.

So back to how I worked it before, a couple of days focusing on back bends but with  some good counter poses and then a couple of days of Forward bends/ Leg behind head postures with some drop backs as counters. ( and obviously the usual Standing and finishing postures).

A bit more on the Mingus approach from yesterday. It would be nice to spend six to ten long slow breaths in each and every posture of course and you could do that by practicing less postures but the approach I want to take here is to explore an area of practice more deeply. Yeah I can throw my leg behind my head cold, did Dwi pada sirsasana at work in jeans one afternoon, after lunch too, but I like the idea of opening the hips up as much as possible, all those wonderful Asymmetric postures and then going into the LBH work and developing it into the more advanced versions, same with backbends, that nice Bow sequence build up. So I merely visit the prep poses, 3-5 breaths let them build upon each other and then when I get to the key postures really inhabit them, slow the breathing right down, longer and longer inhalations and exhalations before picking it back up again with a number of counter poses and doing that a few times within a practice.

This song, Goodbye Pork Pie hat, story goes, Mingus and his band were playing a gig when they heard that Lester Young  died. The band started to play and this song kind of evolved on stage. Not sure that's true. I also heard that Mingus wrote it as an elegy for Lester a few months after he died, like the former story better. Oh, Lester famously wore a Pork pie hat.

Keep coming back to this idea of practice as a Sax solo, still form and structure but within that, room for improvisation, should develop this. Sequences as keys, subroutines as chords, patterns II-V-I.... OK, perhaps not.

Perhaps that's why I keep coming back to Vinyasa Krama though, Ashtanga's a little too formal, too Apollonian want me some of that Dionysian Jazz. It's just asana for heavens sake, whats wrong with a little, play, a pinch of creativity, a shake of exploration.... always been a place for dance in the devotional.

You get that I'm deliberately leaving that open so you can convince me there's room for dance in Ashtanga too, right?

" I don't think I ever sing the same way twice. I don't think I sing the same tempo twice, one night it's a little slow, then next night a little bit brighter, depending on how I feel".  Billie Holiday

First sax solo is Ben Webster then it's my man Lester ( Pres ) next up is Gerry Mulligan on Bari sax then Coleman Hawkins... who isn't playing on this track.

Yoga and the Blues anyone?

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