6.07.2012

Hi.

It has taken me four days to write this meager post.  Just so you know.

I'm never sure what to write about anymore.  I've been busy.  Practice has been good.  I am having fun with my new postures.  May was a big month with some not wholly unexpected additions and omissions from my life.  Throughout the winter and spring, I spent much time marinating in the love of family and old friends -- and old friends made new again -- to recharge my reserves in the aftershock of the veritable life-quake of the previous year.  Now, I can feel myself pulling away, seeking the comfort and safety of distance.  I may be creating space around me for the coming growth.

This feels like a time for change, like time for hard, heavy work.  I've got things to do, letters to write, skeletons to exhume, reorder, and rebury with respect and proper funerary rites.  Unpleasantness abounds.

But you know what?  Even as I am assaulted by angry ghosts from a not-so-distant past, my peace is undisturbed.  And this is not avoidance.  I've checked.  Forced myself to sink into certain ugly truths and came up smiling.  Inconveniences and obstacles that would have torn me up inside a year ago are just a ripple on the surface of the pond.  Alignment brings such freedom.

On that note, perhaps you've noticed that there has not been an Asana of the Week for a while.  Or a Primary Friday post, for that matter.  I'm thinking of going free-form with the blog, at least for a short time, eliminating my usual weekly posts and allowing the nature of my writing here to assert itself in a new way.  Don't worry -- I intend to continue with the asana spotlights in some capacity.  I'm just not sure exactly how.  In the meantime, I've got some fun things on the way and there are plenty of asanas in the archive, which are arranged categorically and alphabetically under the Asanas tab in the bar under the banner at the top of the page.  Enjoy.

5 comments:

  1. Megan,

    I realize there is a resource page with a wealth of information on Ashtanga Yoga for those inquisitive minds. However, I have a more personal question. I tried getting deeper into yoga by tackling Ashtanga, and while I made it through the first class I took relatively easily I found it was much more difficult at home alone. I had a DVD that I could follow and it was much like the class I took but I still found myself in difficult areas. I often quite after completing the sun salutations because I was dizzy or even a little sore. Does the process ever get easier? I feel I am stuck in the salutations and not able to get past them.

    Thank you,

    Brianna

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    1. Hi Brianna,

      Good for you for getting into Ashtanga! Please know that, if you stick with it, it will work its magic on your life. But in order to make the practice enjoyable and sustainable, you need to practice in a way that serves you best. It is important to be committed and work hard, but try not push yourself to the point of avoidance, especially here at the beginning of your journey.

      Give yourself time to build your Primary over the course of several weeks or even months. Stopping after the Surya Namaskara is fine, but it's a good idea to practice the final three Padmasana postures and, of course, Savasana before calling it quits. Instead of going to led classes or practicing with a recording, I recommend practicing Mysore-style, either with a teacher or at home. This way, you can go at your own pace, follow your own breath, and spend time developing the areas you need to work on most. If you need help remembering the sequence, there are Primary "cheat sheets" available online that may be printed out.

      With regular practice (5-6 times/wk is best), your Primary will come together so fast you won't know what hit you. But, to answer your question: Does it ever get easier? Not really. With the way Ashtanga is designed, strung together posture by posture, IF we practice honestly, we remain steeped in a fairly consistent level of challenge whether we practice only the Surya Namaskara or all of 3rd series. That is the beauty and the power of this practice.

      Good luck on your Ashtanga journey! Feel free to ask me questions any time, either in the comments or via email. I'm always happy to help.

      Peace,
      Megan

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  2. Megan,

    I'll have to look up the sequences and print out a copy so that I may reference it throughout my practice. I've heard the term Mysore yoga but didn't know there was a difference in styles.

    You mentioned the last three Padmasana postures.... Which poses are these exactly?

    Brianna

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    Replies
    1. You should be able to find a printable Primary Series in an appropriate format online, or better yet, buy Swenson's "Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual." "Mysore" just means self-led practice. The three Padmasana postures are Yoga Mudra, Padmasana, and Tolasana (aka Utpluthi), the last three postures of the finishing series before Savasana.

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    2. Ah ok. I remember those. At least to the best of my knowledge I do. I'll look up Swenson's information. Thank you.

      Brianna

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