Author Topic: First Series - length of practice  (Read 22019 times)

Arthur Siannos

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First Series - length of practice
« on: September 12, 2004, 11:45:59 PM »
I've been doing the first series regularly all year. On Tuesday and Thursday nights I have the same teacher and Saturday morning a different one. On Tuesday and Thursday I do the complete series and I enjoy it thoroughly. However, on Saturday morning the other teacher stops me at navasana before I go to the closing sequense. I've noticed when this happens the shoulders are not as open as when I do the full first series - I feel this with the inverted postures where when I do the full series I am relaxed and I play with the inversions going deeper and deeper. When I stop at navasana the inversions feel uncomfortable and I'm struggling with the posture, and I feel a little agitated.

I voiced my feeling to the Saturday teacher and he said it is good to have that agitation.

My dilemma is I am finally getting to a stage where I feel comfortable in the postures when I follow the full sequence and now I'm suppose to go back to being agitated.

What should I do? Persist with the Saturday class or just stick with the teacher I have on Tuesday and Thursday?

David Williams

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Re: First Series - length of practice
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2004, 02:42:28 PM »
Dear Arthur,

Continue with the classes that you "thoroughly enjoy" and discontinue any others.

Yours in Yoga,

karim sadek

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Re: First Series - length of practice
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2005, 09:01:02 PM »
but isn't there a reason for the agitation that arthur is feeling on saturday classes?

if the reason is purely physiological, then i understand the stopping of saturday classes.

if the roots of the reason are psychological, then shouldn't arthur maintain his saturday classes in order to face/deal with the psychological problem?

or is the enjoyment of the practice so important that it overrides the importance of facing the psychological problem at the present time?


Patrick O'Sullivan

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Re: First Series - length of practice
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2005, 10:54:53 AM »
 It sounds like your saturday teacher is pursuing a more authentic practice.  I too, used to practice what I thought was the entire primary series, until I started practicing "Mysore style" with a teacher who is authorized by Patahbi Jois to teach ashtanga.  He stopped me at Marichyasana D and helped me realize that I was doing many of the postures in modified form.  Traditionally, one practices ashtanga with a qualified teacher who moves you forward based on your increasing level of flexibility, strength, and consistency of synchronicity between breath and movement.  Since I began pursuing a more authentic, traditional  practice, I have experienced exponential growth and I also have a more consistent and reliable measurment for that growth.  I've never been happier in my practice, although I'll admit that at first, I too was rather agitated.
Just a related experience.  Take it for what it's worth.
Good luck and Keep practicing; whatever you decide!

Mr Bean

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Re: First Series - length of practice
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2005, 02:47:12 PM »
It does get confusing when even some of the most senior teachers in the world throw out mixed messages like:
i. "Stop your practice at the posture that you can't get right into, and go into finishing, only moving forward as each posture comes to you".
ii. "You need to begin some second series about 1 year into any serious astanga practice, in order to balance it off"
(I am not quoting anyone by name, but both of these views came from senior teachers within the beautiful world of Astanga).

My personal view is that you should follow these 3 simple rules in order to enjoy an ever-deepening asana practice:
Practice regularly, over a long period of time, with commitment.

I change my asana routine regularly to stop any complacency setting in. That way I embrace each practice like a welcome meal. I find that I am repeatedly surprised by, not only successfully removing the obstacles that I set out to resolve, but also by countless improvements to my practice that just appear like gifts from the gods.

With your Saturday-teacher scenario, my thoughts are, that when you are in class you do what the teacher tells you to do. Then process that information and do what is right for you in your own practice. Most of all, be happy.  ;D
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