Ashtangi Confessional

I have quite a list so I can afford to make it maybe a weekly feature.

#1- I do half a primary at least twice a week solely for not running out of energy and saving some stamina to work on Urdvha  Dhanursana. I was told today that doing that has the opposite effect in the long run.

15 thoughts on “Ashtangi Confessional

  1. Half primary, NICE practice,
    I do this too sometimes (at least once a week), feels like I have more space (time? no, space, defiantly space) to savour EVERYTHING that little bit more.

    • I don’t know how to parcel out the effort so it lasts me through the whole practice. I have to learn to allocate and redistribute the right amount of energy for each asana so I have enough for each one. Apparently just as the breath gets longer and deeper so does the stamina if we don’t bail half way. Must train the body to reach Setu just like I trained it to do 5 A’s and 3 B’s no matter what.

  2. I went through the same thing once I was given all the poses of Primary. There were days when it felt insurmountable and half-Primary seemed like a boon. After a while, it got easier, and now full Primary is normal except that I’m going through another round with keeping energy for dropbacks, so I leave out the poses of Intermediate I’ve been given. Spoke to my teacher about it and she basically said that the tiredness/exhaustion is actually part of the process, that, in a sense, you enter a phase of being very tired for a while before it starts to get easier. Maybe cut down your half-Primary days to once a week, and eventually, to none? Slowly slowly.

    • So that’s what they mean by it never ends?? LOL. My teacher concurs with yours. only she suggests I aim to have a 6 day practice that is as consistent as I can manage so the brain understands that there is no negotiation in the event of a threat to shut it down!! 😉

  3. Yes I agree…I hit a point at the end of last year where primary and my few( up to lagru at that point) intermediate were completely exhausting..I was hallucinating colored auras by the time I was doing backbends..I admit they were cool;-) however..with some time, my breath was able to keep me more stable throughout..breathing really is the key…once it kicks into place a full primary can become like comfort food. My teacher took away primary because I was advanced enough in intermediate to do so…I resisted a bit and have been alternating front and back halves before intermediate, basically because I was afraid of losing the hard earned stamina I had gained…but I’m giving up primary except for Fridays starting next week to concentrate fully on intermediate..a big step and I’m bittersweet about it, but it’s the right move…as long as I remember how to breathe!

    • Nice Paula! When you say your teacher took away primary, do you mean you do standing and then split, like first Sunday and 3rd Friday in the old place or is it something else all together? I wish I saw auras…

      • Yea the auras are awesome when they happen! 🙂 I mean I’m doing standing series, then intermediate sequence: http://www.ashtangayoga.info/fileadmin/_migrated/content_uploads/Intermediate-Series_en.pdf ….up to where I’m at in intermediate which is the end of the lovely leg behind the head part, tittibhasana…it’s humbling and frustrating yet inspiring that I am a completely new to something again…muscles that I thought were strong being sore to the bone! So good though to struggle and find patience and breathe…I could live without the bruises…getting better (almost!) everyday..some days it’s just about showing up:-) the nerve work is tough at first..but getting much better, the desire to puke has all but disappeared! Lol

  4. I solved this problem awhile back by doing a separate pranayama practice at least 3 times a week for about 45 minutes which definitely gave me more energy to keep going past mid primary. The whole thing is about balancing prana within the body which goes to a very subtle level beyond just energy. I was recently able to also do the first three intermediate poses too as a prep for UD which finally feels great once I get up there. My teacher says that’s the added benefit if those poses and while I thought I would be too exhausted to do them and then UD into closing, I was soaring til the end afterwards. I think it all obviously has to do with all the variables we come to the mat with which I guess is why pushing through even though tired we are getting benefits on all sorts of deeper levels.

    • Huh! Interesting, I let that go because my blankets get glued to my lazy butt in the mornings. There is a good reason for everything your teacher recommends. Time to do what is beneficial. Thanks for mentioning this. I also prep with a couple of Shalabhasanas and throw in a Dhanurasana which for some bizarre reason I am able to do no problem. So far I am adding them based on faith that they will help eventually. Will reactivate the pranayama tomorrow, Thanks again for the advice.

  5. The second half of primary helps a LOT with UD. maybe if you practice at home those days..do the asanas and skip the vinyasas or step through them? also you can get a bit of a rest after you finish with garbha..navasana to UD is an evil combo. my teacher says to go at least to baddha konasana. also, you could also add poses 1 per week…to the shorter practices..and see how that goes. good luck!

    • Thanks Suzanne. I have always preferred the asanas of the 2nd half of primary (except for Setu) I am first going to see if there is a noticeable difference with a consistent am pranayama practice. My teacher has me prepping for UD with a couple of intermediate Shalahbasnas & Dhanurasana, which in spite of being beyond spent at that point, I have to admit they do help. I have developed compassion replacing longing when I see my fellow mates going to Pashasana after Setu.

  6. Maria, i bought a Mysore backbender which conforms to the shape of any back, much better than a rigid block…You could purchase one from Yoga Life Style – they are located in N Y state and of course online shopping/shipping..The prop is wooden and an elegant shape which will definitely extend and open the back and shoulders in a comfortable and safe way.

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