“After a year in a ‘beginner’ class, both my teacher and I felt I had ‘advanced’ enough I should be in an ‘advanced’ class — but there was no such class nearby, at a time I could attend. So I kept going to the beginner class for another three years, always feeling that it was ‘too easy’ for me. Sometime during that third year, I realized how much the “beginner” class was doing for me. I continued to grow in strength and flexibility, and began to understand the deeper aspects a bit…
Years later I learned to understand that ‘advanced’ poses don’t need to be taught at all; it is in the most basic poses that the strength, balance, flexibility and confidence is built; only in the basic poses can the habitual movement patterns that interfere with the ability to do ‘advanced’ poses be addressed. When this is achieved, the ‘advanced’ poses come on their own. And in the meantime, we also learn lessons in purity, contentment, discipline, self-knowledge, and surrender. ” SHRLZI
Can a yoga class be too easy?
Krishnamacharya was an Indian guru who practiced and taught with the men that would eventually shape Yoga here in the West. Each of these men all brought something special to the practice, each one of them had their own strength or focus. Iyengar, Jois and Desikachar and all tough they were all mentored by the same Guru ( I mean really hello Desikachar was Krishnamacharyas son) they each controlled their own intensity by where they placed their awareness, focus and intent. Iyengar’s awareness was alignment, P Jois was flow and constant movement, Desikachar was all about the breath.
What do we mean by yoga, in this article when I say yoga we mean asana (limb) practice.
What we mean by class we mean a lead asana practice, typically done an hour which consists of sequence of poses or asanas which are held for a period of time.
So the question is can asana practice be too easy? In my opinion it’s impossible to have an easy asana practice. Let me tell you why and how you will never feel like you had an easy class again: In Asana practice you control your own intensity, you light your internal fire as much as you need. I will say it again in this practice you control your own intensity.
“Connect the subtle self, to the physical being though the avenue of breath. Not just to challenge our breathing ability but our ability to relate to the world. Without focus or intent you’re just monkeying around.”
Most practice or “classes” will start with Surya Namascara A These are 9 postures also know as a sequence – To make this an asana practice we must add the breath, (you’re not doing Yoga until you add the breath) The breath becomes the oxygen that activates your pelvic core. Activating the bandas or root lock and your ujjayi breath will create an internal heat, like a fever that cleanses the nervous system and becomes a gage of where you are in your practice. The first lock is Mula Banda it is at the base of the spine the seat of Mula Banda The Peranium Muscles, it is in front of the anus behind the genitals. The Mula Banda requires you to lift those muscles and draw the energy up.
How to get in touch with your Perinium Muscles: Start by engaging the PUBOCOCCYGEUS MUSCLES Imagine you need to use toilette and there is not one around, then back off the anus, with practice you will be able to isolate the muscles. Explore that for a few breaths, even if your sitting at your desk or in line some. Some of you may know this as Kegel exercises.
Second Lock: Two inches below the navel. Inhale the area is drawn back. Imagine a thread tied to the front of the belly and then pulling it back and wrapping it around your spin. so that the abdomen is pulls in ,then you inhale lifting the lungs and the ribs on the exhale maintain the stillness, do not over contract, do not panic do not constrict.
Uddiyana Bandha practice this essential practice and never have an “easy” practice ever again.
Now put those two locks together and add your breath. This will create a heat. This is the internal heat that we are seeking as it will create a fever that will burns toxins and impurities, it melts the muscles and brings muscles into a maliable state and cleanses the nervous system. Yes, boo all this and we are not even into the first pose. So practice these 2 locks and 1 breath
Mula Banhda • Uddiyana Bandha • Ujjayi Breath•
Tomorrow we continue with URDHVA VRIKSHASANA and how to make it so you never have an “easy” or “hard” class.
SOMETHING TO CONSIDER: In the spirit of choices and different schools of thought, here is Mel Robbins in her TEDxSF talk HOW TO STOP SCREWING YOURSELF OVER. Somehow there is a connection. -XOV
- Urdhva Vrikshasana
- Uttanasana A
- Uttanasana B
- Chaturanga Dandasana
- Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana
- Adho Mukha Shavasana
- Uttanasana B
- Urdhva Vrikshasana