From what I have seen Peg Mulqueen spends much of her time studying with great teachers and that is good news for us because she has a wonderful talent for assimilating what she has learnt and passing that on to the rest of us in her own easy to understand style. She seems to be able to get to the essence of what it takes to perform a particular asana and has given some very useful tips in Asana Quick Fix.
So many people struggle with Marichyasana D even after many years of practice as it is such a challenging posture. Being one of the ‘gate keeper’ asanas of the primary series in Ashtanga I thought I would take the opportunity to ask Peg if she had any pointers.
It’s curious that Marichi D is considered a ‘gatekeeper’ pose, Krishnamacharya put it in his middle group and only marichi A, B and C in the primary group of his 1940 asana table, on which Pattabhi Jois so clearly based his own syllabus. Marichi E, F, G and H are put in the Advanced group. There are of course some good arguments of course for having D there in Primary after C but perhaps it would have been better to reintroduce it after C once the rest of Primary has been appropriated just as Pattabhi Jois supposedly used to do with utthita parsvakonasana ( see Nancy Gilgoff’s Ashtanga as it was). Manju of course says don’t worry if you struggle with D, move on with the rest of the series but keep working at it. Here’s a link to krishnamacharya’s original asana table http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2012/05/complete-asana-table-from.html
That all sounds sensible to me Grimmly, I think there are many informed teachers out there doing exactly what you suggest.
I agree with Grimmly and think it all depends on time, place and circumstance, I have been practising for 11 years, I have a military spine from a car accident many years ago, I learnt the hard way by proceeding with the entire primary series including drop backs, and attempting to put my body into Mari D with assists ( I believe without mastering Marichy D and safe backbends has resulted in an extreme imbalance in my body. My psoas became so tight (as it turns out ) affecting not just my musculature but also my breathing It twisted my body during practice , and was causing weakness in my abs and also other muscles to turn off whilst I practiced, making other areas extremely stiff. I have had back / neck pain for about 1.5 years, lots of rehab , treatments, and help from Stus awesome interviews has revealed the problem. In short I finally worked out what was going on. Today was the first day to practice the primary series without my neck and sacrum becoming really stiff or sore .( I tried Yin classes they were helpful.)
Insane, pushing too hard you may say, however I was always struggling with the insanity of practising and causing pain, and whether you just keep practicing believe me in the past 1.5 years I have tried everything including stopping my practice for a few months.
I am glad I kept practising I still have my practice, chiros, osteos, massage, etc did not really help, sometimes this would relieve my intense neck pain for one day. After which ” my old friend pain ” would return.
I guess I am trying to say, proceed with caution and courage. Make sure you have a good teacher and above all be kind to yourself. I learnt 2.47 thru direct experience.
Without this imbalance, would I have been so attentive to the body? Would I have enquired so deeply into the body and the possibilities of the cause? No I don’t think so,
I have definitely learnt about courage, compassion and letting go.
Krishnamacharya was a true master he taught his dedicated students we know they were not living in a modern city, with the stresses of everyday life I believe that he was indeed a ‘Guru’ with deep insight who worked with energy and did not articulate just ‘ the body’ but also the energy of a person and he squeezed their souls .
He was a teacher who worked closely and carefully with his students and gave them postures according to time, place and circumstance. Lucky them!!! I wish I had the privilege. I know many have had the privilege of working with SKPJ who had many of these sixth sense qualities. We are blessed are we not to experience and know Ashtanga.