Primary

Primary on Fridays

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I think I had a balanced practice even though the focus was forward bending asanas.

A balanced practice covers different types of asanas:

  • forward bending asanas

  • back bending asanas

  • twists

  • inversions

  • balancing asanas

  • side stretch

The many many forward bending asanas of primary get balanced on Sunday again, when back bending is the focus.

Today I was able to do three times urdhva dhanurasana. It was hard, but doable. I progress again.

I’m happy that I can still do one of the most intensive forward bending asanas: supta kurmasana (see picture). I take my time till I do the pose. I warm up the body. First I put one leg behind the head while lying on my back. This is more relaxing than septa kurmasana itself. I practice yoga nidrasana, eka pada sirsasana till I finally get to supta kurmasana. The pose feels already better, but not as it used to be.

The final goal is to feel excellent in an asana. The path goes from feeling discomfort to feeling great in a pose.

Practices like today give a lot of motivation to practice daily.

Tomorrow is a day off from yoga……

Practice for your own well-being

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Practice daily for your own well-being, Sharath said on Instagram. It’s so true. This is such a good reason to step on the mat on a daily basis.

It’s hot here. It’s amazing how flexible the body becomes when it’s hot (above 30° Celsius). Also sweating is so much easier.

My focus was primary today. That is the focus is forward bending asanas.

I joined another challenge on Instagram. It’ s rather fun than a challenge. Under the hashtag #thursdayswesplit yogis publish their splits every Thursday. It’s motivating to work on #hanumanasna. Within a week a lot can happen. The splits are a basic asana. All stretching asanas must be practiced with care. It takes time to stretch. Patience is required. Every injury means a set-back.

 
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Join the party on Instagram .

Primary series on Friday

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My biggest obstacles on my yoga path are trips. This usually interrupts my routines. I love both, I love to travel and I love to be at home. But I practice much more often at home than on the road. It’s amazing how quick I can realize progress.

My practices are great these days. I know that if I want to avoid future injuries it’s important not to be overzealous. Nothing can be forced. A daily practice is what will bring success. In addition one must practice the asanas correctly. Sometimes less is more. One must learn to be very attentive to the messages of the body. If this basic attitude is not respected two main things can happen. First one doesn’t progress, what is frustrating. Or one gets injured in the long run, which is even more frustrating.

The asanas deepen with time, but also the understanding of the asanas.

I practice the above pose differently than I used to do a few years ago. The most obvious is that I’m on the ball of my feet. This feels better to me. My feet move inwardly, they don’t press away from each other, exactly the opposite is the case.

The shoulder moves down.

This asana is one of the standing asanas. It comes rather early in the series and it’s difficult. No asana is too underestimate. It’s a deep twist when performed correctly and a slight balancing challenge.

Summary:

  • practice daily

  • practice correctly

  • listen to the body, sometimes less is more

When an asana is mastered it feels good. It amazes me, but the deeper I can get into an asana the easier it becomes and the better it feels.

Enjoy your practices.

Padmasana variations

Quick summary:

Half lotus pose gets introduced in the standing asanas (ardha baddha padmottanasana). In the middle part of primary come 2 poses with full lotus pose. Garbha pindasana has a dynamic phase and a static phase. The pose ends with Kukkutasana which has also a balancing aspect.

My topic these days is didactic. How can I learn an asana faster and safer. What are the tiny steps towards the end form. Do I need more flexibility or strength? Have I understood the technique to perform an asana? These are the questions. It makes sense to move from easier variations to more difficult ones. Easier variations always exist. Another reason for knowing easier variations is that it can happen that an asana is no more possible because of injuries. Instead of omitting an important asana, easier variation can do the job.

First I analyse the asana: Garbha pindasana requires to do lotus pose. It’s also a forward bending asana.

This is exactly what I did. I put my legs in lotus pose and bent forward. Gravity helps. When bending forward it’s important to stretch first. It helps to create length. The movement starts from the hips.

The second variations uses the arms as a leverage. This pose should be applied with much care. The shoulders are very sensitive joints.

The third variation is usually recommended in classes as an interim step toward garbha pindasana. It has a balancing aspect. In order to hold the pose it’s good advice to engage the hip muscles. The arms shall not do all the work.

The forth pictures is the most relaxing one. Lying on the back is always relaxing. With the arms one can support the movement. Finally a pose shall feel good.

Experimenting with variations deepens the understanding of the asanas.

It’s Tuesday today. I focus on back bending.

What a joy

  1. I had no back pain at all neither during my practice nor afterwards. I’m so thankful. A miracle happened.

  2. I practiced 90 minutes. This is my goal. I don’t fill this time with too much contents. One day I practice primary, the other day second series, but this is only my orientation. On the mat I realize what is possible and what not. Too much ambition might still be too dangerous. If I filled the time on the mat with easy poses, that would be great for me, too. Usually I experience a certain dynamic. In the beginning I’m still stiff. With time I become more flexible and I want to challenge myself. At the end I feel a certain tiredness and it becomes more difficult to keep practicing. As every day I worked on the splits.

  3. I could do all the core asanas of primary. Only supta kurmasana felt difficult. The other asanas were even relaxing.

  4. The practice relaxes my mind. All the issues that stalk me faded away. I focus on my practice, nothing else is important. That’s one of the reasons why I love yoga. It refreshes the body, the mind and the soul. After every yoga practice I feel exhausted, but also like new born.