Saturday led

Led primary. Warm, crowded, a lot of friendly faces. Really nice. I’ve been going to this class for 5 months, and I clearly remember the first time I went. I was kind of scared, to be trying this new practice, and I felt anonymous, like no one would really notice me in the big, crowded room. Now I know, though, that all of us regulars know each other, and that new people are most certainly noticed. Welcomed, too, though no one makes a particularly big deal about it. And if someone comes back a few times, then they are part of the “regulars,” too.

There is none of the weird stuff that can go on in the “real world,” where people are cliquish or snotty when they belong to a group. And I chalk this up to Volleyball Guy and to teachers like Sanskrit Scholar and the British Director. They don’t play that. If you practice, and if you come back again and again, you are part of the team. No questions asked. It makes me trust their yoga, that this is how they live in the world.

As has been my custom, I modified all the poses that hurt my right knee. And Volleyball Guy modified his adjustments. He adjusted me lightly in Marichy A on the right side, then really got down to business on the left side.

It was driving me mad, at first, to modify on the right–it felt so asymmetrical. But it doesn’t seem like a big deal at all anymore. I’ll modify ’til I’m healed. No biggie. Sammy is suffering the same fate, but I think we’ve both decided it’s just one of those things. And truth be told, it’s quite interesting to be learning different things on either side of a pose. Marichy D is a great example. On the right, I can fold up my left leg but can’t really push on the twist or the bind, because it puts too much pressure on my right knee. On the left side, I can’t fold my right leg into lotus, so I just tuck it under me, but then I can really go for broke on the twist and see how deeply I can bind. So it’s a different learning experience on either side.

This limitation is also giving me a chance to play around with transitions like utkatasana to bakasana to chaturanga. And today, during dropbacks, the British Director spotted me as I walked my hands down the back of my legs, then transitioned into the end of the dropback. It’s hard for me to understand stuff that involves the back of me or being upside down. My brain doesn’t “get it” right away. But it felt interesting, and when I got home I showed The Cop, so he can help me practice it some more.

So, as usual, it was good to practice. Now, time for a shower, and then we’re off to get our Christmas tree. I’m psyched for some holiday spirit.


6 Responses

  1. What is that transition from uttka to bakasana to chatturanga that you’re talking about? I have never seen anyone do it…

  2. Good question. Volleyball Guy teaches it as a transition–I just looked it up and see that John Scott teaches it that way, so perhaps that’s where it comes from. After utkatasana, you go into bakasana, and shoot back into chaturanga. Then you do virabhadrasana A and B. The transition after vira B is eka pada bakasana to chaturanga. Just little flourishes, but kind of fun to try.

  3. I never saw these transitions after Utkatasana and Vira B, Karen. They must be in John Scott’s tape, since I don’t see them in his book. Are Bakasana and Eka Pada Bakasana held for just one breath?

    You’re right about playing with transitions while injured. I find myself doing more of that too while the knee gets better.


  4. Actually, Volleyball Guy gave me a xerox page that shows them–it says it’s from “Astanga Vinyasa Yoga with John Scott.” So no, it’s not in his book. Not quite sure where the xerox is from. I’ll ask Volleyball Guy. The sequence also includes hanumanasana and samakonasana (between the prasaritas and parsvottanasana). And yes, the bakasanas are just held for one breath.

  5. Lino Miele taught these transitions as well. In his book, Astanga Yoga, he counts the vinyasas as follows:

    Ekam: Hands up
    Dve: Uttanasana
    Trini: Head up
    Catvari: Jump – Chaturanga Dandasana
    Panca: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
    Sat: Adho Mukha Svanasana
    Sapta: Utkatasana – 5 Breaths
    Astau: Up (bakasana or handstand if you’re a floaty type)
    Nava: Chaturanga Dandasana

    And so on. He emphasized the importance of the Astau: Up, but also emphasized the importance that Bakasana is a transition here, and is not to be held any longer than the one inhale.

    There’s also an Up on count Ekadasa just after Vira B.

    I’ve heard Tim Miller also teaches the hanumanasana and samakonasana in the midst of the standing sequence. I’ve added them in to my personal practices after Prasarita D for the past 6 months or so, and find they complement the rest of the series quite nicely.

  6. Yeah, I knew the hanumanasana thing was taught by Tim M. I *hate* hanumanasana, but practicing it every day has really worked out well. I managed to get into it fully on the left side for the first time on Saturday. And only about an inch and a half to go on the right… And samakonasana is one of my favorites–though it was really scary to get adjusted in it, at first.

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