The weekend focused on breaking down individual postures from the Secondary Sequence in the Ashtanga Tradition. While I am familiar with the sequence, I do not practice the Secondary Series (not knowledgeable enough) but I DO practice the postures. As I've noted before, I do not do a Traditional Ashtanga practice, preferring instead to enjoy a more Contemporary Ashtanga workout. In essence, I made the practice my own. However, I do appreciate the nuances and dedication a Traditional practice requires.
But! Workshop details:
Friday, 11:30-2:00p Nadi Shodana Pattabhi Jois "It is primarily a breathing exercise and the rest is just bending."
Tim broke down the three locks integral from the practice (from his website): Bandha (valves or locks): Moolabandha, Uddiyanabandha and Jalandarabandha helps you integrating your physical and energy bodies. Through the use of the three bandhas in your practice, the body comes together to one entity, creating bounce, flow and grace. It accumulates the generation of purifying heat deep in your body and, yet again, makes for a strong internal focus point for your mind to rest.
As well as the Ujjayi breath (breath of victory): The core of the practice. Facilitates movement in the physical body, creating ‘room to roam‘ between your bones underneath your skin. quiets the mind from unnecessary entanglements. distributes appropriate energy through-out your body and unifies the physical, mental and energetic bodies to one solid entity of motion, transformation and power. Generates purifying heat in the body.
And we worked on integrating these four things into our bodies. It was interesting to learn that the Ujjayi breath in and of itself should be used as a pranyama exercise and that for the Ashtanga practice (and I will also infer a vinyasa practice) "breathing with sound" is the appropriate methodology.
Saturday 7:30-9:30a Guided Primary 11:30-2:00p The Backbends and Twists
"In Ashtanga we tend to identify our practice with where our body is in space. We actually want to line ourselves up with our breath-body."
The morning session was the Primary series as led by Tim. LOVED IT! It just flowed.
The second session was focused on lots of technique and breaking down twists and backbends. Not a lot of time to take notes so I'm hoping that as I do some of the postures down the road the small ideas will come back to me. A very complimentary session yet intense session as there is a lot going on in the lower lumbar to do these postures.
Sunday, 11:30-3:00p Foot behind the Head and Headstands
"Work with what you have. Treat the pose as a journey. When we see X pose we stop working. What do we need to obtain X? Ask, What is the obstacle? Is it the mind? Strength? Flexibility? And focus on working toward X."
This was a class of dualities. For the first half, we became well acquainted with our hamstrings and hips. For myself, this was excruciating. There is something going on with my hamstring insertion points that in certain poses feels like someone is driving hot pokers right into that spot. Needless to say, my foot does not reach behind my head. I need to figure out what's going on down there and find some resolution before moving that deeply into my hips.
The second half was challanging and fun. I have never attempted all seven variations on headstand (I can comfortably do two) as done in this sequence. I think I can start working on two more now.
Monday, 2-4:30p, Arm Balances
Some of the best breakdown of arm balances I have done to date. We worked extensively on Bakasana (Crane Pose), Mayruasana (Peacock), and Pincha Mayruasana (Feathered Peacock)
I felt this was an outstanding workshop. He has a great rapport with students, a lovely sense of humor and an ability to break the postures down enough to capture the essence of the asana yet provide the framework and platform to build confidence and experience to grow in that pose. I see on the Yoga House Website that he will be returning in Nov 2013. I do hope I can attend!