Postural Practice Pointer 23 – Bhāvana for the Hips in Parśva Uttānāsana
When moving into Parśva Uttānāsana.
Lift the forward leg hip up and
draw the rear leg hip forward.
When coming up from Parśva Uttānāsana.
Keep the forward leg hip lifted and
the rear leg hip drawn forward.
Another Niyama that should be followed is Āhāra Niyama.
That is, how much to eat and what to eat,
according to age, profession, etc.
You see, the ancient people believed that
a young boy could eat as much as he liked.
But a Saṃnyāsi should only eat eight handfuls of rice,
no more, per day.”
“When something is understood differently from what it truly is, it is called Avidyā.
What is changing is taken to be non-changing. For example the mind.
What is subjected to decay is assumed to be pure. For example the body.
What is leading to suffering is taken to be the source of pleasure.
What is not conscious is assumed to be conscious.
All these errors in perceptions have many possibilities.
But the ultimate stage of Avidyā is to assume that we are the Masters, not Īśvara.”
T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 5
In its beginning stages it’s about
our practice supporting our life.
In its maturing stages it’s about
our life supporting our practice.
In terms of ageing mainframes and creaking joints,
it is perhaps useful to remind ourselves that
Yoga practice is much more than just Āsana.
In other words, even as the body slows down,
can we continue to slow the Breath down,
can we continue to slow the Mind down,
can we be Still within the distraction of age?
The more you are able to practice,
the more you feel able to practice.
The less you are able to practice,
the less you feel able to practice.
Krishnamacharya taught that a Samāhita Citta
was a prerequisite starting point for Meditation.
If so, how do we relate to the modern phenomenon
that a Vikṣepa Citta can be a starting point for Meditation?
Unless perhaps we discern that here it isn’t actually Meditation?
The ABC of the Viniyoga of Yoga
is the bespoke long term cultivation of
a personalised, pertinent and progressive
Āsana Practice as a foundation for a separate
Breathing Practice with its own identity alongside a
Chanting Practice to honour teachings and transmission.
Dhyānam is the fabric that time weaves from these related threads.
Once more another year has almost passed into history, for me becoming too many to want to count! However I am no longer so directly involved in the manic movements so often a part of the year end. My daughters are now both parenting their own children with a seven year old boy and a fourteen month old baby girl. Plus this year we are joined by my son returning/visiting after two years roaming North America from a Canadian base, followed by this past year travelling throughout South America.
So these days, with my kids directing the Xmas show, Granpa can sit back from the details and embrace the break with its offering of space to pause and reflect on what has passed this year. Time to root out what is now deadwood to discard and what are potential seeds to hold onto for planting in the 2019 Yoga garden.
Regarding seeds I feel are important to hold onto, my Dharma commitment will continue to honour that which remained at the heart of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s priorities throughout their lives, namely teaching personal lessons within a private context. Furthermore it still remains the vital element in appreciating what Desikachar intended when he introduced the term Viniyoga in 1983 as a collective description of a process for a systematic development of the student’s personal experience of Yoga.
Yoga Practice is neither about trying
to get rid of something undesirable,
nor attain something desirable.
It is something that can happen
in spite of something undesirable,
or in spite of something desirable.
The tendency is to measure a persons ‘progress’ by a
perceived comparison to some mythical finishing point,
rather than accepting that we cannot really appreciate
the reality of what was their actual starting point,
nor can we truly evaluate the effort they are putting
into developing and refining their personal Sādhana.
Feelings from the past remain eternally potent ravagers,
especially pervasive within the illusion of our present and
with it a tendency to recreate an old shape from our past,
whilst we are believing it to be a new shape for our future.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 27