Thursday, 23 February 2017

Chasing the next asana..... What did I learn from it?

It is not worth it!!! It is not a good intention and it should not be the one that brings you on the mat each morning.

Yesterday during our discussion group with Iain Grysak I told him that one for the reason I came to Ubud to practice with him (outside of the fact that I came for Him because of his blog) was my desire to move forward into my practice.

By stopping me at Supta Kurmasana I first faced my ego which one gave me tears and anger.....

During the all month Iain really emphasis about the connection between us and our practice and furthermore between us and ourself. Creating THE relationship with our practice.

Be rooted.

From where we root ourself? From Mula Bandha. Mula Bandha is directly connected with Muladhara Chakra. This chakra first start developing from the womb before we were born.....

Therefore in order to be rooted we need to get connected, to meet our inner child.

A child has the quality of innocence and most of the time when we are child, before going to school deeply instead of us we know what we want to do because of our past life.

Then as we grow up and as the society guide us in what is good and what is bad, we forgot who we are deeply inside of us and we start compromising even thought we do not think that we are compromising ourself. We become adult and the school already has shaped us in a form that shall be respectable in order to enter into the adult world.

This was my mission, to meet myself and to act in accordance of who am I deeply inside of me. It is a long process but the good thing is the process has already started.

It is all about acceptance of who we are and it will only happen once we start to practice yoga in an advanced state of mind. The posture is nothing if inside of us we are not connected, this is Yoga not a physical exercice.


So I stepped back from my expectations even thought I was sure I was not expecting anything, I was basically lying to myself and comparing myself with others for absolutely no reason. I did not even know that I was at this minimum state of mind. I am not angry after me but I am surprised about the lies I was able to tell myself.

It is just the beginning of the journey and it took me 10 months to realise it.

***

On the other hand, today Iain told me to come tomorrow for the Full led Primary class. 
So this was the cherry on my cake, I have been graduated ;-)

It all starts now.

- Namaste -

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

There are 2 schools of Ashtanga Yoga

One is following the teaching of Sri Pattabhi Jois and the other one follows the teaching of Sharat Jois.

What are the main differences?


Easy answer, with Sharat you are required to stop when you can not do one particular asana completely.

Other teachers who studied with Pattabhi Jois don't stop your practice.

However if you are a real beginner you will be mostly stopped at Prasarrita Padotanasana and then you will be required to repeat the standing series from the beginning at least 2 times before going to the sitting pose. Then on the sitting pose you will be stopped mostly at Marichyasana and then going directly to the backbend sequences.

If you are not a beginner, it will only rely with who you are practicing with the Primary Series wether you will be allowed to do it fully or you will be stopped.

However as soon as you start touching the Secondary Series teachers will give you asana one by one.

What are the benefits? You stop "here" vs "you move forward"


First of all when you are not stopped into your primary series because you can not grab in Marichyasana D or can not hook in Supta Kurmasana you are not confronted to your ego and you stay in a peaceful comfort zone. If the teacher notice that you are flexible enough then you will even touch a bit of backbend such as the drop back with assistance which is quite enjoyable and very gratifying!

Therefore when you practice the all series some of the teachers will give you the choice, wether you want to practice full vinyasa or just half vinyasa as Sharat does.

Practicing the all series can actually help you for some asanas where you have some difficulties. As per  Manju Jois when he was practicing with Pattabhi Jois "there was no you stop here, we were just practicing yoga".

I do believe that some of the Ashtangis have forgotten that point because now when you have discussion with some of them they explain you why you should stop here because you are not ready for the rest of the series.... actually there is no such any proof about it. What about the yogis who practiced Hatha Yoga and do all back bending without the sequence of the Primary Series?

What about other asana practice where you are not stuck into a sequence and prisoner of one asana? And if I recall it seems also that the Primary Series has changed from the original form, sometimes you find that there is no Janu Shirshana B or C, more or less Paschimotanasana, more or less vinyasa.

However now Sharat is the authority so people who are following Sharat teach the same way as Sharat wants to teach the Primary Series. If tomorrow Sharat decides that no one need to stop there then everybody will follow. So technically there is no "scientific proof" that stopping at one point will help you for other asanas and is protecting you from being hurt....

I will also add that from Supta Kurmasana going directly to the backbend is actually very hard for the lower back, so if at all there is a logic I could not find it and especially during the led class where you stopped as for during this time your body is getting cold for suddenly going directly in Setu Bandhasana.....

HOWEVER.....

Yes however :-)
I have to admit that by stopping my practice at Supta Kurmasana I am learning more about myself and how I am managing my emotions.

As I know that my practice will be shorten I then take more time in each asanas, creating more space into my body and paying more attention to each asanas that are above my infamous Supta Kurmasana. So even though my practice is shorten the intensity and the intention I am putting into it is 200% more than when I am practicing the full sequence.

I am definitely more focus on my breathing and work a lot more my jump back and jump front without cheating at all by placing my hands on the side of my hips instead of placing them forward in order to jump easily. I use more Mula Bandha and at the end of my practice my belly is completely tight and my lower back is completely flat.

And I know for sure that the day I will grab my hands without any assistance I will be completely overwhelmed because it will mean that I did not give up on this particular asana.

As far as I am into my practice I can clearly declare that the Ashtanga Yoga practice has healed my physical body. Since I am practicing it following Sharat rules my knees are not painful anymore (I had surgery on my left knee where meniscus has been removed, my right knee has a patella into pieces and at one point Janu Shirshana was out of my reach because of my torn ligaments) so after all my injuries practicing the Ashtanga has been the best medicine for me that none of the chiropractor, kine, osteopath and so on I have met during my life which were never able to solve my issue.

I will say that now the Ashtanga system is working on my soul, it is touching some parts of my mind and emotions that I have been hiding for so long, I realise that I never let myself be me, really me, completely naked in his pure form of my being. 

Each morning I have an appointment with myself and Iain Grysak (which I completely highly recommend to any Ashtangis) has open new perspective to my practice. I will never ever forget what he said "practicing Ashtanga is having a relation ship with yourself".

By practicing Ashtanga in its pure form we are facing our demons, our fears, our joys, our happiness and most of it ourself.

However number 2 ;-) 


I have to admit that when I will be back to India I will continue my practice but the full series.Why? Because for instance I am missing Baddha Konasana and I do believe that the asana can really help me to improve my Supta Kurmasana by working on the hips opening. I have also added to my personal practice Bekasana because I am in need of more chest and shoulder opening so that is why.

But of course as soon as I will be back to Iain Grysak or Sharat whenever they will say "you stop here" then I will without any hesitation.

Now the last point of it: if you are looking for an experiment Ashtangi to practice with and under his guidance I can not stop praising Iain Grysak. Each morning I feel bless to practice with him and his pranayama/philosophy classes are just pure joy.

With Love & Light forever!!!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Don't give up!

You can do Supta Kurmasana but you are giving up too fast..... Iain Grysak, February 2017.

Therefore I am still stuck to here. So I got frustrated of course, if I was not then I won't be really me ;-) because I noticed that some of the students (at least 3) can not grab in Supta Kurmasana but still they practice all the series.

Bagus told me yesterday, and trust me this guy is a real wise man, as per the rule of the Ashtanga since I have really started and committed to my practice on April 2016 I am still consider as a complete beginner, so being stuck in one asana for less than a year or more is completely normal.

Therefore I am a "young" practictioner which I kind of like it because I still feel that I am too old for so many things, so seeing this from this side make me happy.... in fact!

Then instead of whining about myself "why I can not move forward, why am I the only one, why I feel like shit" etc, etc.....  which is completely pathetic, I started compiling the "now" and the "then" of my practice.

And in fact I really improved, more than I can even imagine. And starting from Marichyasana D both side, without any help, without any doubt, without any pain should have a ring a bell to my brain instead of complaining why I stop here?

My jump back and jump front are getting better and better, my Shirshana is completely stable for 25 breaths and half shirshasana is completely under control as a couple of month ago I was not able to hold it more than 5 breathes.

My body structure is also changing, there is more space between my rib cage and my hips but still I need to work on the upper body, the opening is really bad and the shoulders are still stiff.

So from an holistic point of view my upper body need to be more relaxe and to be more relaxe I should be able to let go all the bad things, bad memories, injuries etc that I am dealing with, it is my next step. I am closing up because I am not ready to accept the present moment without comparing it to before, to what I did, what I should have done, what I want to do, it is always past or future but never in the present. I don't live in the present moment and I keep thinking of things that happened 2 or 3 years ago, it is crazy right???

Therefore as the Ashtanga Yoga is all about trust and let it go and especially when you are doing the backbend how can I go further if I don't remove the layers covering my mind?

Basically this is the conversation I had with myself and also with Iain yesterday and I was quite happy to be able to speak about it during our session with other students.

And Iain told me "Now you are practicing yoga, now you are in the deepest part of the Yoga and it is not easy".

So true.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

We are all Athlete when we are practicing the Ashtanga Yoga

Yoga is a discipline and to practice Ashtanga Yoga take a lot of dedication. Therefore as per Iain when we are dedicating ourself to it we are training ourself such as athlete. I could not agree more.

Because there will be a physical change in our body there will also be a physical change in our mind. We all hear that Yoga is the connection between the soul and the universe it is for me the connection between the I and the inner I. It is more individual at the beginning, it is only when we know who we are that we can start to understand the rest of the world or the people.

This morning during the practice I tried my level best to surrender to it. I had a bad night and I woke up moody, unhappy. 

Then I understood that it will only depend on me whether I will have a good or a bad practice, we are what we think as well as we are we eat, we are what we say and so on.

After all it was a good practice and was happy to finish where I am supposed to be.

The practice, the understanding and the acknowledgment of the Ashtanga Yoga Method only relies on the practitioner, wether you want to follow it and surrender to it without any question and expectation or you take the other side of it, you skip when you want to skip because you feel uncomfortable and you add secondary asana because it is flattering your ego.

You have the choice. Whatever the choice you are taking it will define you as a human been. As mention before and as Iain said, which I really like, we should create a relationship between us and the practice and furthermore a relationship with ourself. The way we are practicing is often the reflection of who we are truly.

Once we have digest all the information and acknowledge it then we start to practice Yoga in his pure form and origin. 

With Love & Light ;-)

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Week 2 - Mysore Practice Ubud

Today I have received an adjustment in Supta Kurmasana, now I am reaching my hands with help but when Iain tried to bring my feet behind my head than I can not grab anymore.

So basically I am still stuck in Supta Kurmasana.

As the philosophy class yesterday was about Santosha I shall not complain and be happy for where my practice is leading me.

And it led me to Supta Kurmasana ;-)

That's it!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Day 6 - Half Led Practice

The 6.30 AM group is for the students who practice the full primary series. The 8.30 AM is for others students, like me...

I was not pissed off neither angry, I thought so, but I was frustrated. 

Even though I tried not to think about it "I am in the second group, I am in the second group"..... somehow deep inside of me my monkey was punching my ego.... then I started getting pissed off and I got pissed off because I was starting getting pissed off.... like a dog running behind his own tail. 

Some counting were very slow while other were fast.

Marichyasana C for example was extremely slow because Iain was helping a student and I showed an attitude..... same for Marichyasana D.

Then from here practice stops and going directly to backbend. I was mad.....

Sarvangasana calmed me down..... the counting was until 20 breaths!!!! 20 breaths in Sarvangasana..... my teeshirt was slippery but manageable for 10 breaths then wtf???? after 10, comes 11, 12.... then reaching the 15 count it was very clear that it was not the end, so I bend my legs and waited for Halasana.

I flattered my ego by staying perfectly still, motionless and calm in Shirshasana, same for half Shirshasana and Utpluthih gratified me.

Could not relaxe at all in Shavasana......

What is happening to me? Why my ego is showing off, am I repressing it and then suddenly like a volcano it is erupting from my deep inside? How can I manage it? I did not know that I had such ego problem, what is wrong with me???

Suppression - Osho

The practice is not only at the physical level, right now I am digging inside of me...... 

Work & progress.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Day 5 - Catching in Supta Kurmasana !!!!!

Today the practice was hard, I got dizziness after the series of Prasaritta. Since the beginning of the practice I am working on my breathing from Urdhva Tadasana and I think I never ever practiced like it before therefore my breath is getting shorter.

Iain helped me for Supta Kurmasana and at the beginning I thought it was helpless as each time I cannot fully grab and hold it. However he made me grab without any pain and to my very big surprise I hold it for 10 breathes!!!!! 

After I felt my body lighter same when I did Marychasana D the first time my body was lighter.

Yesterday after my practice I felt strange and basically burst into tears, some bad thoughts, memories were passing by and I allowed them to leave (and don't ever never come back!!!).

Today after Supta Kurmasana my body was not heavy anymore, my shirshasana was flying.

I keep repeating the same sentence, surrender to your asana, surrender to your practice, surrender and let it flow. This is so true.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Day 4 - Intense practice

Today my practice was slower, I worked a lot with my breathing trying to feel Mula Bandha during all asanas and working a lot on my jump back and jump front.

As a result I was completely tired after it.

Iain helped me to grab my hands in Supta Kurmasana and I do believe that I am getting closer to have it. I should not have any expectation.

It is a funny day, I don't know how to explain, something is happening from the inside and I do believe this is a good thing. Sometimes you just need to let it happens and not only surrender to your practice but also surrender to the Universe.