…and 4 the rest of your body
This Friday morning (Nov. 9) I’m presenting a special 50 minute “Therapeutic Ashtanga” sequence. You can link to info here http://www.ashtangayogadaily.com/specialmoondayclass.htm
This will be helpful for everyone. Beginners, those needing to modify, or those beginning the Intermediate series looking for a shorter Primary practice.
Since it is the moonday, the focus will be on a kinder-gentler Ashtanga- see you there!
sounds like a good class, we’ll try to make it, thx joseph
It was a real treat to share the “therapeutic” sequence with so many of you. Just today I came across one of my favorite passages from Yoga Mala.
Paraphrasing Guruji in Yoga Mala pages 27-28
To practice yoga, one must posses enthusiasm, zeal, courage, and a firm faith in philosophical knowledge.
There is no age limit for yoga and it can be practice by anyone- women, men, the weak, and by those sick or disabled. Only lazy people find the practice of yoga useless. (Classic Line!) Otherwise yoga is useful for anyone 8 years or older.
(Practice changes with life circumstance) (For instance) For people over 50, it is enough to practice some of the easier and more useful asanas, as well as some pranayamas. Those who have practiced for many years, however, may do any asana or pranayama without problem.
Older people who want to start yoga however will find the following 10 asanas useful: The two types of Surya Namaskar, then Paschimattanasana; Sarvangasana; Halasana; Karnapidasana; Urdhva Padmasana; Pindasana; Matsyasana; Uttana Padasana; and Shirshasana. It is preferable to do these in concert with vinyasas, but if this is not possible then practicing while focusing on rechaka (exhale)and puraka (inhale) will suffice.
For the middle-aged, it is best to do all the asana. The more they are practiced, the stronger the body becomes, and obstacles such as disease cese to be a problem. Pranayama is easier, the mind becomes more harmonious as the quality of sattva (purity) comes to predominate, and intellectual power and longevity are augmented.
For the very old, however who find the practice of Sarvangasana, Halasana, Uttana Padasana, Shirshasana, and Padmasana too difficult, it is enough to practice mahabandha (three bandhas practiced together) daily, as well as pranayama. These will help them live happier and longer lives, and will insulate them from disease.
The weak and the sick, too, should gradually practice suitable asanas and pranayamas and over time as their strength increases, their practices should also increase. In this way, the diseases of the sick and the strengthlessness of the weak will be eliminated, leaving them healthy and vigorous.
The aspirant that goes to a teacher (guru) will find that the teacher will tailor his practice to his particular bodily constitution.
thank you for sharing this quote adarsh.
i am very interested in this topic b/c i have often felt/experienced in ashtanga classes (led or mysore- style) a stringency about the sequencing – like there isn’t space for me to let my practice support me by varying off the given sequence – like i’m ‘disrespecting’ the space or teacher if i do so. it is an ongoing question for me how much variance is ‘ok’ or ‘still the practice’ in any given room with any given teacher.
where i practice now, for example, there’s a sign at the front that says to please use another room if we want/need to do preparatory moves or meditation. so there’s permission to do these things but outside the room & once inside the room, it’s the prescribed thing.
inside the room, i’ve been told Definitely it is AOK (like this morning) to choose to take it easy and let the practice support my life. my teacher, lea, mentioned the question she uses w/herself regarding whether or not to adjust practice is: what supports the sustainability of the practice for her long-term?
and yet it seems there are definitely explicit confines to what is considered ‘ok’ degrees of variance.
i am curious about others’ experiences/thoughts.