Saturday, 5 November 2011

Day 35 Asymmetric subroutine breakdown


Day 34 : Matsyendrasana ( half and full Kingfisher) subroutine practice notes from Vinyasa Krama On one leg sequence

Day 29 : Eka pada sirsasana ( leg to head ) subroutine practice notes from Vinyasa Krama On one leg sequence

Practicing Asymmetric Subroutines
This was for a long time my favourite sequence of subroutines from Vinyasa Krama, it was familiar enough to a large section of the Ashtanga Primary series I was familiar with and yet encapsulated all I came to love about Vinyasa Krama. I loved how postures would grow out of the ones that had preceded it, developing and extending a theme. Without the Jump back that comes between each posture in Ashtanga I felt as if I was settling ever further into alignment and could relate the subtle differences of the postures of the subroutine more within my body. I liked how you would enter a posture gently, exit and then enter again a little more deeply and how you would then stay for a longer time  sinking deep within the pose. The effect of the Asymmetric subroutines when practiced together is cumulative, it is advised to practice all the postures on one side as opposed to switching sides after every pose. Both approaches have their benefits but there's something, if not hypnotic, then certainly meditative about the flow of these postures one into the other. What else struck me powerfully was how the ground for more challenging postures, the leg behind head poses say or purnu matsyendrasana, was being prepared, this is perhaps even clearer in the Lotus sequence where we're led through some of the same Asymmetric subroutines we find here towards full lotus.

However this is a long sequence when practiced together, ten subroutines that need to be practiced on both sides, practiced slowly, mindfully it can well over an hour to practice them all.

In my daily practice I like to include an asymmetric subroutine or two before seated subroutines.

As a rule I tend to save the mama mudra subroutine for late in my practice perhaps just before badha konasana from Seated, I like to stay in mama mudra for quite some time before settling down to pranayama

Whenever I practice leg behind head postures whether in Ashtanga or Vinyasa krama I always include the archer and heron subroutine from Day 28

Here's Ramaswami from this months newsletter writing about how the Asymmetric sequence and subroutines work the full range of movement of the hip joint.

'Yoga, especially vinyasakrama yoga, tends to work with almost all the articulation of all the joints especially the ankles, knees, hips, the spine and arms. Take the asymmetric sequence, in which one leg is kept in one position and the other leg kept in several positions, and in each subroutine several movements are done. Take for instance Marichyasana, the hip joint is kept in one position in which the inferior bone of the joint, the femur, is kept in the fixed position of Marichyasana and all the
vinyasas are done by which the superior bone structure viz. the pelvis is moved around and manipulated. In other words, the ball in the socket is kept stationary and the socket is moved around. When you move on to the next subroutine, mahamudra/janusirsasana, the femur head within the socket takes a different stationary position and in the vinyasas the pelvis is moved around. In the third subroutine, the half lotus, the femur head position is again altered, but keeping it stationary a number of movements are done in the subroutines— akarnadhanurasana, kraunchasana, ekapadasirsasana, vajrasana, matsyendrasana, bharadvajasana and any others-- in which the pelvis is moved around. In fact in the series of vinyasas within those asanas, all the possible movements of the marvellously engineered hip joint are done in a short time giving a complete treatment for the hip joint.'

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