I recently returned from my first three month trip to practice with Sharath Jois in Mysore. I am not a newcomer to the Ashtanga system – I completed the 4th series with my previous teacher Rolf Naujokat earlier in 2014, and have maintained a daily Ashtanga practice for nearly 12 years. I knew that when I went to Mysore for the first time, none of this would matter.
In this article I describe my history with Ashtanga Yoga, how my approach changed over the decades, some of the problems that I encountered, their solution and how this has influenced my teaching. Initially I was only interested in the meditation and philosophy aspects of yoga and practiced and studied those for many years. I came to asana only once I realized that the vitality of my body had peaked.
Following on from the recent post on Jumping into Bakasana Mark Robberds completes the circle with this clip on jumping back out of Bakasana. When you first start trying to do this it can seem like your legs are glued to your arms probably encased in lead boots, but a bit of giggery pokery with your center of balance can make all the difference. I think Mark’s tips will get you quickly on your way.
I don’t know about you but for some reason even though I have been practicing Ashtanga for ages I still have trouble figuring out what I am meant to be doing as I leave Utkatasana and Warrior II. Who better to call on than Laruga Glaser to demonstrate what it should look like, allowing for individuality of bone structure, tension patterns, girth and such like of course 🙂
John Scott has been teaching workshops around the world for many years and they near enough get filled the moment they are announced. One of the reasons for this is his excellent ability to explain how to work on different asanas and transitions. In this video John explains how to perfect the floating jump forward from downdog to standing, as you would use in surya namaskars or full vinyasa practice. I must admit I immediately started using these tips from the day we shot the video and it really makes such a difference. Keep an eye out for the fully interview which will be coming soon.
I had the great pleasure recently to be invited to practice with David at the beautiful Purple Valley in Goa. Of course I took the opportunity to make another interview, which is in editing at the moment. In the meantime here is a little clip to help if your Nakrasana looks more like a slippery snake than a crocodile.
You see, around 75% of the adult population has experienced lower back pain – and I’m not talking about those who practice yoga. It’s a “thing” and not a yoga “thing.” It comes up in yoga a lot, though. Mostly around backbends though honestly, the way we forward bend can often be more to blame. But lets just stick with backbends for now. Because that’s usually where we get scared our body either completely seizes up or totally collapses.
Luckily, there doesn’t have to be an either/or. We have lots of gray to research and learn. But before we get started, lets get something clear: We are NOT going all the way. Now that THAT silly business is out of the way.
I don’t often publicly express opinions or viewpoints until I have fully digested and integrated the experiences that lead to their formation. I realize that this has become increasingly rare in today’s world of social media where we can impulsively broadcast all of our experiences and opinions instantly. It is not uncommon for photos, quotations and reactions from a certain experience to be uploaded to thousands of people on Facebook, before the experience itself is even finished.