Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The logical limit of the Ashtanga Yoga

The logic behind the Asthanga "system" is each asanas are preparing you to the next one. Therefore when an asana can not be done your practice stops there.

Pattabhi Jois has given different series to different students, he never stops anyone during their practice.

The moment "you stop there" has come from Sharat itself.

Now it is call the Tradition.

Therefore you can practice the same series for years before adding and practicing  any other asanas.

However in Hatha class even though practitioners are not following any series such as the Ashtanga they can do all asana they want, they can back bend as much as they want if their body is capable of and same for other style of yoga.

A "pure" and complete devoted Ashtangi won't touch Krounchasana until :

1. He binds in Marychasana D
2. He catches in Supta Kurmasana
3. He can do drop back without any help

Once everything has been done as it is supposed to be done then he will be introduced to the Secondary Series starting from Pasana. Once Pasana is done perfectly he will finally start Krounchasana followed by Salabasana A, B and so on...

Does that mean that other practictioners of other style of Yoga are doing wrong by having much more variety and choices in their practice?

I don't think so.

When you have an hamstring injury what is the point of still practicing the Primary Series knowing that most of the asanas are based on a forward fold? Why not introducing some other asanas such as Salabasana, Bhekasana, Dhanurasana, Parsva Dhanurasana, Ustrasana?

This is to me the logical limit of the Ashtanga. If you can not do forward fold then work on the back bend and all harms balanced such as Bakasana, Mayurasana.

I had this conversation yesterday with a lady following point by point Sharat words. I told her since my injury when I am not in the shala and after I will be back home I will stop the Primary to focus more on other asanas that I haven't really practice since I started to dedicate my practice only to the Ashtanga. And she was telling me it was completely wrong!

To me what is wrong is still doing Prasaritta Padotanasana 4 times with an hamstring injury while Dhanurasana does not harm at all, on the contrary I really like to do it and my body is getting more flexible.

Basically it is our own choice, following blindly the tradition or choose to practice with an open mind.

I am choosing the second option.

- Namaste -

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