Utthita trikonasana and parivrtta trikonasana

I remember. During the last two years I couldn’t get into trikonasana either. Of course I could omit another two asanas. But what else should I omit. I had to avoid poses and movements that inflamed my SI joint again. This was the most important rule. What to do?

To get into the poses from standing position was impossible. So I had to found another way to get to trikonasana. It was possible to get from down dog to trikonasana. I stepped with the right leg forward, put my hand on the foot and lifted the upper body so that the front faced the wall. Then I switched sides.

Today I could reach the final position from standing. This is such a huge step forward.

I realize that utthita trikonasana is not as straight as it used to be, but I don’t care. Pictures are a very intensive learning tool They tell the truth. Asanas feel differently as they look like.

It could be good to step the feet further apart from each other when I practice parvritta trikonasana. The arm that reaches to the floor would be more parallel to the floor then. For me the trikonasanas have a symmetric shape. The arms should be in line.

I don’t know what happened. Everything bettered. It’s almost like a miracle. Perhaps the body and the mind needed time. To step back was important. But I had no choice.

There are variations for trikonasana. The arm that points to the ceiling could be moved forward i.e.. Tiny changes often make a huge difference.

I had to be rather creative in order to adjust the practice to my needs. It helped me to understand the asanas. I learned variations.

Hasta Padangusthasana and Pada Hastasana

The four series of Ashtanga yoga are my favorite series. Despite all critics that I might express these days, Ashtanga yoga is my main practice. I ‘only’ adjust it to my needs. A home practice allows these adjustments.

There are two main challenges when practicing this style of yoga. Of course it’s the asana itself. Yet it’s also the vinyasa, that is how to get into an asana and how to connect them. Sometimes there are easier alternatives, sometimes not.

Hasta padangusthasana and pada hastasana are the first asanas of the standing sequence after the sun salutations. Also in the last years when I had issues with my SI joint, I was able to bend forward. I was able to touch the floor with my flat hands. In order to get into the asana without pain, I put my hands on my hips to support this movement.

This simple forward bending asana is so basic and so good. It shall allow to put on one’s shoes also when old. This gives independence. Extra blood is transported to the face. This might improve the eyesight. The extra blood that is transported to the head gives a fresh appearance.

There are many inversions. Hasta padangusthasana is one of my favorite as it can be performed everywhere. It refreshes me. Tiredness flies away after deep breathing in that position.

Engaging the bandhas helps to get deeper into that pose.

These days I add an asana. It’s a twist. It prepares the body for the next asanas, that is trikonasana.

The splits

These are some of the exercises that I integrated in my Ashtanga yoga practice. The splits are key asanas. It can take a very long time to learn them. Yesterday I saw a YouTube video of a young man. It took him 18 months to do the splits. He exercised daily. Nothing can be forced. The risk to injure oneself is always there. Injuries can mean, that the journey to the splits will last much much longer. Injuries are frustrating.

I’m curious what is possible.

A new beginning

This is a new beginning

My yoga mat.

My yoga mat.

More than 12 years my yoga blog was hosted by blogger. It’s a blogger website that belongs to Google and it’s free. I loved the simplicity of this page, yet Squarespace is also simple. Using my own website for my blog is surely a more elegant solution.

I bought a domain name that is similar to the name I used on blogger. I learned not to use a hyphen in a name. It’s too complicated to remember. Unfortunately the ending .com was taken already, so I decided to go for the ending .net. It’s easy to remember, too.

In 2006 my first post showed my yoga mat in my little yoga room that was also the living room. The yoga mat is the same. The place changed as we moved to another flat. When I started yoga I practiced mainly at home. The yoga community exploded during the last decade. Yoga studios opened at every corner. In the meantime there are even several Ashtanga yoga studios in Munich. For about 2 years I practiced daily in one of the studios. It was as if I went to work. I love to look back. I managed it to get up before sunrise even. At 6 am I was often one of the first students in the yoga room. At 6 am I started my yoga practice with the sun salutations, and at 9 am I was ready for the day.

An injury forced me to reflect on my practice. It was not sure if I could go on with yoga at all. My back hurt too much, not only when I practiced yoga. I could scarcely sit. At night I woke up when I turned around. This pain made it impossible to go to a yoga class. But my back got better and in the meantime I can practice again without pain. The healing lasted more than 2 years. I didn’t give up my yoga practice, but I practiced not very often. Between the practices were sometimes long breaks. The consequences: I got weak and I lost also a bit of my flexibility. I lost many asanas. The good news is that I win them back bit by bit, asana by asana.

Sometimes I want to go to a yoga class. The energy in a group is different. It was always a joy to meet like-minded people. But then something stops me. There are so many students in a yoga class, that there is no room for individuality anymore. Everybody has to do the same in order to avoid chaos. My age and my back injury require a more adjusted practice. That’s why the above place will be my main yoga place. I’m back where I started decades ago. I practice at home.

The journey can go on.