Incorporation of Bandha, Breath and Dristi in EVERY Practice
As much as I liked it, I realize now I was just hyperventilating. There was no mula bandha (perineum tightening) involved, no control, no explanation from the teacher. It was just forceful exhaling.
Perhaps I should not have been on the level III class to begin with since I had not had the proper technique training on how to do kapalabhati, granted, but then again I am exploring and noticing why it is that I am grateful for what happens in every class of Ashtanga.
|Practicing Kapalbhati after leraning the right method
No idea why everything in the room went yellow
The breathing (Ujajji or Dark Vader sounding breath),
The focus point for each and every single move, and
The incorporation of bandhas.
|Clearly an Ashtangi|
Eye focus on the palm of the hand
The only issue with Vinyasa Krama is that there are no studios that teach it (at least not many, for example I have not seen anything at Pure Yoga in NYC or other local studios). Also, for home practice it has several routines and subroutines (see this free downloadable book also from Grimmly), which leave one at the mercy of the mind on the “pick and choose” department. I found that Ashtanga saved me the trouble of that by being a pre-set repetition and a routine as well as a discipline. I needed that because I have a flickering westerner mind and having to chose would have made it harder for me. I know it!
Learning to breathe with the ujjaji technique, while placing the fiery eyes on a steady point in each pose, and adding the tightening of the perineum (mula bandha) and uplifting of the abdomen (udyana bandha) in all poses does NOT happen right away.
Of course not, it takes years to make the whole of the asana experience come together and alive, and get to a meditative state of connecting intimately with the body and going within, reaping all benefits, nevertheless, the instruction is provided from day one.
As soon as we step into the mat we are invited to play with the whole technique, to start experiencing it, learning it. We are treated to advanced techniques of yoga from the very moment we begin, and for that I am very grateful.