Day 5 – Practice & Conference

Mr Moose

Probably our last complete Mysore practice today as I know from the past that Dena usually leads the last day so that we all finish together. She let us loose from the get go today ” Surya Namaskar A – Ekum you’re on your own“. Another solid practice today, an assist in Padahastasana and in PPC, but left alone until seated when Dena stopped me to give me a jumping through lesson, I need to be slower, the control should come from Udiyana, Mula and it should not be about the momentum from the initial jump swinging me through my arms. A deep squishing from Paula in Paschimottanasana. I did Supta Kurmasana just about, but it wasn’t a good one, so I decided to have another go, little did I know Dena was behind me and she gave me a really deep adjustment, almost a wrist bind, never mind hanging on for dear life to a couple of fingers, this was soon followed by another deep squishing in Baddha Konasana, not quite sure who did that one, though I know it wasn’t Jack as he doesn’t wear nail polish!

After my Urdva Dhanurasanas I stood up to start my dropback experiments, Dena saw me and decided I wasn’t going to do any headbanging today, instead I got taken through what I need to change, ie my splaying feet, well the right one in particular. First I need to find more space between my thighs and bottom ribs as I inhale up, then as I go back I need to keep the strength and focus in the thighs and higher to stop the feet splaying, to have the feeling of tearing. We then did dropbacks with her standing on my feet taking me into an incredibly deep bend, but as she said feeling it higher up, last year I found this torture when she did this to me, but today it felt completely different, the backbend had a structure to it, I almost forgot about the back andΒ  was stretching my hands towards my feet. I know what I have to do, so Susan feel free to stand on my feet anytime you are teaching.

Another day when I got to the endΒ  completely sopping wet, but the heat gives the body freedom of movement like I never get at home, not even in Thailand was it this hot, the only slight problem is a lack of air circulation. Back to base via the yogi Cafe. I think there should be a book of worldwide Cafes where ashtangis hangout!

Stockholm Ashtangi cafe

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


I knew my iphone would eventually come in handy for yoga, so I had a milkshake and copied my scribbled notes of this afternoons conference on to my Iphone “Notes” while I could still remember what they said.

Yoga is not about feeling it’s about doing

Yogatristana – breath, Asanas, drishte

Without the bandhas doing the postures can be detrimental to the physical body

2nd series takes 5 years, student must be competent at primary and have done minimum of 6 x week for one year after learning the series . Start of 2nd opens the heart. Sharath says students need to stand up from backbend before beginning, Guruji said student must have LBH in Kurmasana, then they can start, it all depends on your own teacher.

It’s what limits you and your relationship to it what needs to change in order to take away the limitation

A good yoga teacher gives students what they need and not what they think they want. Ashtangas linear nature ensures both teacher and student don’t just do postures they like and find easy or look good in. If teachers are just giving poses to get students to come back then its notn yoga

Yoga gives you a pause button a moment to reflect on a situation before reacting to it

Yoga allows you to choose differently, make better choices in life.

Yoga is an investment in our own well being, our own “vehicle”, but unlike a car we can’t replace parts, so we need to take care of what we have.

Yoga can promote positive change

Bend happens at the softest points eg neck or lower back, in a backbend it should be about the chest so that we try to spread the flexibility, unblock blockages

In a posture look for what you don’t have, work out what a pose can give you, not just tick a box when you can do it.

Yoga heart opening- realigns body

Samasthihi integrity in postures.

Feet should not be wider than the hipsΒ  in upward dog, heals up and knees down

3 minute breath counting with a partner feeling where the breath goes in the body, are the inhale same length and power

I need more length between the top of the hips and bottom of the ribcage

These are just my notes, Dena’s answers are very illuminating and I was torn between trying to make notes and not miss anything she said. She has been my only constant if irregular teacher since about 2003 when I first met her, I have gone through 4 principal teachers in that time with Shalas opening and closing, teachers leaving and having children etc, each change has with hindsight been good for my practice, but Dena has been the constant in all that time, though I only see her once or twice a year. I am always gratefull for the time I get to spend with her.

Om shanti


4 Responses to “Day 5 – Practice & Conference”

  1. susananda Says:

    Thanks for the tip! : )
    Nice notes. iPhone is also a recording device you know!

  2. Maria Says:

    “I think there should be a book of worldwide Cafes where ashtangis hangout!”

    Yes!!!! I agree… or even a blog/trip advisor page… somone who knows something about these things should do this.
    My Dublin suggestions are as follows:
    Queen of Tarts, Cows Lane (opp. Samadhi Yoga –, any day, Mon – Fri, excluding moondays from 845am onwards; and on Sundays from 1130/45 onwards
    Cafe Java, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, after morning practise in Ashtanga Yoga Dublin (
    On Sundays, Odessa Cafe/Restaurant, Dame Lane for Brunch….. best brunch in Dublin….

  3. ragdoll Says:

    Brilliant notes, loads to think about there. I liked this:

    “A good yoga teacher gives students what they need and not what they think they want.”

    For me, with the tendency to resist rather than crave new things (not just on the mat!), it sums up the ‘what the . . . there’s no way I can do that . . . oh, look, so I can’ that seems to occur every few weeks when I get pushed to try a more complete variation of something.

    Here’s to your getting lots more time with your teacher soon!

  4. CK Says:

    You’re lucky; she’s one of the best.

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