How to begin? Like he did, with this quote: "When you stop trying to get someplace in your yoga practice, that is when you start practicing yoga."
This is not the first time I have heard this, but for some reason it stuck with me this weekend.
Or how about this one: "It's not how you practice, it's what you practice."
A good saying for the sequence Matthew was about to take us through.
Friday night Matthew introduced the Moon Seqence. This is an alternative, complementary practice to the rigors of the Ashtanga practice for Full Moon, New Moons, the woman's cycle or for whenever the practitioner feels they need a more restorative practice. This is also supposed to be good for Friday nights, as it encourages rest. HOWEVER, this sequence is NOT intended or meant to replace the Primary series.
What is this Moon Sequence? This is a passive sequence, utilizing some key points: instead of a sun salutation (or salute to the sun as he calls them), you do a moon salutaion. There is a greater emphasis on the hips and the vinyasa is done while laying on the back. The ujjayi breath is softened, closing the eyes during the seated portion of the sequence is encouraged (but still stay aware and with the breath) and all postures are done with the left side first.
This sequence did indeed feel very restorative. Initially it was odd to be doing everything on the left first, but after a while it felt very natural. All the hip openers were lovely, and I certainly did feel them the next morning. But in a good way. He warned folks that they may feel more tired after doing the practice, but I didn't notice that (mind you, I had a three hour drive to the Cities, after getting off to a late start, it was 95* and humid once I got there, and I had to wait-out a fast moving, very severe storm after the session got done so I didn't get to my sister's until after 9:30pm. Long day.) I CAN say, I slept rather well.
I really look forward to learning this Moon Sequence. I can really see the advantages of this in the Ashtanga practice.
Stay tuned for Saturday and Sunday's workshop report!