Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A 3 hour practice... It's all about the intention

Thought I'd share I photo of my first kurmasana with shoulders completely only floor, heels up and well, as you can see, everything else pressed firmly into the ground, including my chin...ha ha ha. Not got the hang of taking photos of myself whilst in compromising positions just yet :)

After a horrible night's sleep, probably got about 3 hours in the end, I had a slow day at work, finished at 3:30 with the intention of doing the whole primary series plus second up to kapo as soon as I got home, which was exactly what I did. I spent some long stays in paschi, following a tip from Digby who said that I should breathe into the lower back/rib cage to really let go in paschi, which worked a treat. I then had a long stay in the prasarita p's, to try and work out a niggle in the left hip/SI joint which has been irritating me for a couple of days, to the extent that most of yesterday I had more or less a 'dead leg' (not nice).

As a result of those long stays in the forward bends my body was a lot open for more. Hence the great kurmasana result! Did a bit of leg behind the head prep then had a go at supta k - got one leg behind head as you can see, but 10 seconds from pressing the button on the camera is not conducive to a good supta k preparation or shot, as you can see ;)

Digby mentioned in his led ashtanga research class on Saturday that the practice is all about the intention. If you don't work with intention in mind then you will not progress with the asana. So I was practicing with full intention. I tried chin to shin in all seated forward bends and got them. I tried the fancy jump backs after all the mari's, didn't quite make all them but impressed myself with how NOT far off I am in getting them (one day!) I got 2 inches off the floor on both sides in preparation for the splits (yay!) I think only fear of tearing something there is keeping me from getting right down :-/

I managed full binds on both sides in pasasana (heels on a soft block). The best bit was just going for it in supta vajrasana, my thighs didn't give way on me (just the FEAR again) and I got the full posture (but without getting back up...well, not very gracefully anyway!!) I also went all the way back in kapo, grabbed the toes and relaxed my breathing in it, which is great.

Legs are a bit too long to look graceful in most yoga postures, I tend to look like a baby giraffe, but I'll share another....for the craic. Legs were slipping out of this one at this point, a bit too much 'magic spray' on the go, might have to dilute with some more water ;) First time I cupped my face in my hands though, so that was nice.

So all in all a pretty amazing practice. Finished at 6:55 after a great savasana. Just shows how much you can get out of one practice if you slow it down, give the postures some love and attention and INTENTION, I think that has to be my word for the day :)


  1. Love the pics, especially the first one, yep, dem shoulders are, grounded, planted , positively rooted. Hadn't thought of you with long legs for some reason, good for garbha p but must must have made jumping back and through a bit of a bugger. mark Darby says he has long arms and short legs which strikes me as cheating. Oh and is that Gregor's pranayama book second down over on the left , couldn't work out what the others were.
    Oh and is that Om one of yours? Nice.

  2. Oh yeah, the legs are the bain of my (yoga) life! Especially jumping back and through and navasana. I am very jealous of all the people with better proportioned bodies. But I guess some people would love to have long legs...just not for ashtanga ;)

    Yep - Maehle's, my pranayama practice diary, Fierce medicine by Ana Forrest and Easwaran's Bhagavad Gita. I ACTUALLY look like I study yoga and everything. lol Yeah the Om is one of mine. And the photo taken with a camera which you recommended for those wide screen shots, but this was not wide screen. Couldn't change the setting in time, lol.