Friday, December 24, 2010


I like to think I’m serious about my yoga practice; traditionally, one does the Ashtanga series six days a week and I’m pretty good about doing something at least every day of the week but Sunday, but there’s no doubt that I’m lazier than I could be.

During the school year, I usually manage a kind of modified version of half of the Primary Series; I do all the poses through Navasana, but I usually only do the vinyasa between poses rather than between sides as I was originally taught. I’ve believed this has kept me from completely becoming a slug, and it’s certainly better than nothing, but how much better is the question.

Lately, as I begin to prepare for studying in India, I’ve gotten back into doing the full Primary Series, completely with vinyasa between both sides. And what’s become apparent to me is that I’ve sort of been wasting my time all year long; or, at least, what I’ve taken to be a serious practice, isn’t really very serious at all.

There is a magic to submitting to the entire series that you just don’t get when you do less; maybe what I’ve been doing has kept me slightly more limber than I would have been otherwise, but insofar as yoga is about liberation, I don’t think it’s been doing me much good.

When I used to do Tai Chi in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park back in 1976, my teacher, Bing Leong, used to say that if you miss one day of practice, you fall back two days; I think something similar happens with yoga, although progress isn’t so obvious.

It will be interesting to see whether I re-acquire some of poses I’ve lost over the last few years when I’m in Mysore; Marichysana D is beyond me, as is Garbha Pindasana; I used to be able to do both of them; maybe when I’m really there, they’ll come back to me.


Post a Comment

<< Home