I have banned myself from practice. So I’ll talk write about it a little instead. Lets see where this ends up? Lol
I’m allowed to stretch a bit if I’ve set off the pesky trapped nerve in my right shoulder, (the dog now has a little tote that he’s very happy in, however, he now also weighs 5kg, so it’s becoming a bit of a workout) but otherwise, I am on ‘bed rest’.
I use the term loosely as keeping me in one place for more than a few hours at a time has always been a challenge.
I’m trying to stay still while I put on weight (it’s been up and down over the last couple of years, I’m sure we’ll get into that whole mess at some point).
Although I can never remember the sequence in order, I was thoroughly enjoying working my way through the Primary Series. It took me about a year to get through it all in one go, and I think I’ve only done it a couple of times since, but there was definite progress being made.
There are about 66 Asanas in the whole thing (at least the thing I follow*) and 35 Vinyasas (before this break, I began practising one between each asana, we’ll get into that another day, little treat of a vid of the standing sequence + vinyasas at the end 🤸🏽) and in theory, I can ‘do’ a version of all of them. I’ve manipulated my body into twisty little pretzels and tried to get my leg above my head in a balanced and controlled manner, with varying degrees of success which is cool, but consistency is the issue.
With such strict guidelines it’s easy to get it wrong and I’m a sucker for trying to perfect technique.
My approach to learning tends to edge towards starting somewhere in the middle, as I pick things up easily, but then having to go back and learn basics. This is also why I struggle with consistency.
I wasn’t initially taught a single, and identifiable method. I wasn’t taught the original practice, by (generally) men who dedicate their lives to enlightenment through meditation and extreme exertion. I wasn’t taught that before even attempting to push my body to it’s physical limits, I should learn and understand how chakras work. And that the Surya Namaskar looks after them all perfectly well if you do it right.
Yoga gets v v hippy and esoteric when you really start studying it. If you thought the word chakra was a nonsense term coined by the love and fucking light crew (which I deffo did for a long time lol), you might find that yoga opens you up to believing in stupid things…such as chakras 😅
The OG yogis fuck with chakras in a big way.
I’m by no means an expert on the matter, however I will say that I’ve come to believe in a very real way that we have energy ‘hotspots’ within our bodies, and providing we look after these hotspots well, we can aid and assist in a variety of issues…including increasing our flexibility during yoga practise.
I’ve digressed a little…but I’ll just carry on like nothing happened ha!
I was using online teachers available to me at the time, be it free on YouTube or a few private lessons, I was picking up bits and bobs of here and there of ‘how to handstand’ and ‘lets all backbend’ however the foundations and understanding of the 1000’s of years worth of history was largely ignored.
I like books, so I bought a lot of them. Vedic texts, ‘modern’ gurus memoirs etc etc, and I…don’t even know how to explain what a minefield of conflated and conflicting information there is out there when you start to make comparisons.
Ultimately, I discovered that the best way for me to learn, was to just do. Slowly. I’m experienced enough with injuries to know my limits and when I’m about to push past them, and thankfully I’m pretty good at holding myself back.
I’m scared of getting hurt, which has impacted my practice significantly. In a very positive way.
You see, I’ve always been annoyingly flexible (technically hypermobile which comes with its own issues unfortunately), so I don’t care too much about achieving the picture perfect, legs akimbo pose (which incidentally, many of these perfect pics are examples of very bad, and sometimes dangerous practise, please, everyone, strengthen your lower back and obliques a little before whipping your head back like that <3). So, I went back to the very basics and started to focus solely on the ‘boring’ part of yoga, the Vinyasa.
There isn’t enough attention paid to the Vinyasa sequence in my opinion. As we know, I am not an expert, but after 30 years or so of studying movement and now at least 200 hours of watching other people take classes with world renowned teachers (LOL loser) I noticed that those who struggled the most with Asanas, were the ones that could not Vinyasa efficiently…I don’t really want to get into the technicalities here, as I’m still learning myself, but it’s something I noticed and so I decided that I wasn’t gonna be one of them. So, off I must pop to master the Vinyasa.
Now, the only way to master something is to do it on repeat…right?
Well here’s the issue… I can no longer spend a couple of hours a day doing Surya Namaskars, to figure out the micro-adjustments needed to get it smooth as butter.
And I’m bored. And restless. So I’m gonna go and do something else to take my mind off the fact that I can’t yoga rn…or climb…or sleep…but whatevs, catch you later 😑😂🖤