Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Week 12 - Jenny

Well, same sequence as last week.  This time I got through it at a more steady pace because I didn't have to stop and look at the book as much.

Here's one of the things I've been noticing about the sequencing.  When I first started with LOY, I was concerned that the sequences started with Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) and Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasna).  No warm-up for these particularly intense poses.  But I've really come to appreciate it this way.  I still do a couple of sun salutations before jumping in, but I've changed my own daily practice to put Triangle and Extended Side Angle before the Warriors (Virabhadrasana I and II).  See, my hips are not super flexible, so I need to work into Warrior I and II.  And I was doing them after warming up with Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Mountain (Tadasana), Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), etc. through some sun salutations.  But it was always too much.  And now I think I see what Mr. Iyengar is doing: he is sequencing according to the hip openings rather than the side body stretches.  In Triangle, your legs are straight, so there is no stress on either hip.  In Side Angle, there is a small stretch on the front hip.  The Warriors bring the BIG hip openings to the back hip.  So this sequencing makes total sense to me.  And even in the side stretches, he does Extended Triangle with the upper arm straight to the sky, then moves to Extended Side Angle with the bicep over the ear - increasing the side body stretch as you move forward in the sequence.  I haven't quite figured out why the standing twisting poses Revolved Triangle (Parivrrta Trikonasana) and Revolved Side Angle (Parivrrta Parsvakonasana) started later in the sequences and then were moved right after their extended versions.  Of course, as time goes on, I can handle the twisting poses in the earlier spots in the sequences, but why move them there?  Something that'll come to me eventually, I'm sure.

Mr. I. has been saying for weeks now to do Ujjayi pranayama in Corpse Pose (Savasana) with inhalation retention for 5 minutes.  This week the "for 5 minutes" has disappeared.  And there is no other time noted.  And I looked at the coming sequences - it remains this way.  I'm wondering what that's all about.  Am I supposed to do this for longer now?  Well, I did.  I did it for 10 minutes.  In the instructions for Savasana (mind, not for Ujjayi), Mr. I. says to stay in the pose for 15-20 minutes.  So I figured I'll bring it up to 10 this week and go longer next.

I read an interview with Mr. Iyengar about a year ago.  He mentioned that if he could do it over again, he would have made this program in LIGHT ON YOGA ten years long instead of five.  He said he had thought people would be doing the yoga 10 hours a day.  I can see the issue.  We are moving at a rapid pace through these poses.  I'm a yoga teacher and I've been practicing for 7 years.  I have a dance and gymnastics background.  And looking at the sequences ahead, it's only going to speed up.  I know I'll get to a point where I just can't do some of the poses.  And I know that'll be pretty soon.  I can only imagine what this would be like for someone who was new to physical movement.

I came out of the sequence today grounded and calm.  So calm.  Clear mind, clear body.  I can feel my face is soft.  My shoulders are down, even as I type this.  Overwhelming gratitude cloaks me as I sit on my mat.  Gratitude for this practice, for Mr. I., for the universe and for no requirement that I be anything more than I am.

1 comment:

Tiffany @ Moving Meditation said...

What a beautiful post. And very interesting about Warrior I and II coming a little later. That makes perfect sense to me. I struggle with Warrior I in particular, especially when it's early in the class.