Srikanth Perinkulam

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Tag: Ashtanga

Letting go

Close to three months since I was introduced to Uttitha Hastha Padangusthasana and I still find this asana pretty challenging. This Wednesday’s practice was tremendously draining. Spent close to five minutes just trying to focus and balance, but it just didn’t flow through. Back home that night, I sought Miss Me to figure out why I was failing miserably at this particular asana. She walked over and watched me struggling to balance and in her zen mode suggested, I just look straight ahead (without paying any attention to the leg or the toe) and lift the leg by the toe till my hamstrings allowed and then firm up the other leg to balance. That worked right in the first attempt!!

Subconsciously, I’ve been unnecessarily stressing out on this one asana for this long for no reason! Now that I’ve gained more control by essentially letting go, today’s practice felt much more relaxed and rejuvenating. This December 12th, it would be six months since we started our Ashtanga practice. From being very skeptical, I’ve come to a point where I’m thoroughly enjoying the practice. And we’re not yet finished with the basic sequence! :claps:

 

Moving downwards

Moved on to Dandasana, Paschimottanasana A and B, and Purvottanasana :clap: . And looks like I no longer need to do the standing sequence twice! Though I still haven’t got Uttitha Hastha Padangusthasana (the only part in the standing sequence that I dread every single time I do it!) quite right, I’m happy to move on to other asanas while working on this one over time.

Thunder

Today’s ashtanga practice was insanely powerful. At the end of the first set of the standing pose, I felt like a dark cloud just about letting go of its huge water droplets and by the end of the second set I was a completely wet noodle.

Not quite sure if it was the temperature in the room or just the internal heat from the body. What I do know is, I’m slowly but surely getting better in being in the moment and able to focus better on my asana and breath work.

Today’s practice was for close to an hour. As we add more asanas and sequences, we may have to come in earlier in the morning to finish by 7.

Fundamentals

Moved on to Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D and Parsvottanasana to close out the fundamental positions this week. Remembering the sequence in tandem with the breath flow and stabilizing the body posture is a task! Every time I feel I’ve learnt one vinyasa well, I end up faltering on another. No wonder it’s recommended that you practice it daily!

Progress and cold habits

5 reps of Sun salutations A, 8 reps of Sun salutation B, 2 reps each of Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana, Uthita Trikonanasa and Parivrita Trikonasana leading into Uthita Parshvakonasana and Parivrita Parshvakonasana and finally closing out with the three seated poses – Yoga mudra,Padmasana,Utplutih and Shavasana. Took close to an hour for the whole session.

On a related note, slowly transitioning to taking cold water showers everyday. Discussions with David at the TARC Camp earlier this month and reading What doesn’t kill us have nudged me to get back to my old habits which I conveniently gave up when I moved to the US four years ago. I’ll have to revisit this once temps go way down south but for now I’m more than happy sticking to it!

Moving on to the fundamentals

Was introduced to Padangusthasana, Padahastasana followed by Trikonasana A and Trikonasana B today. Called for a bit of stability and a lot of focus!

I seem to have a got a hang of the Sun Salutations. I did catch myself doing a few mistakes, but guess that’s good. Was in sync with Miss Me for the most part today and realised I wasn’t doing the last three closing sequences quite right…nuances! Some more practice and it should soon be second nature…

Sun Salutations B

Up at 04:30am and had ample time to get ready. Did a dry runthrough of the sequence with Miss Me just before we left home and that provedto be pretty useful. Today’s class was much better in terms of execution.Practiced Sun Salutations A for about eight times. Kate then walked me throughSun Salutation B thrice and left me to practice. I felt the transition from Ato B was pretty fluid and got a decent hang of the B sequence. Closed out with Shavasanaafter 10 breaths each in the different variants of Padmasana.

Felt much more energetic and composed today! Quite possibly dueto the forced yet regulated breathing and just ‘being in the zone’.

Ought to learn the number codes and/or Sanskrit names. These links below seem to have both!
*Sun Salutations A
*Sun Salutations B
*Finishing sequence

Learning to breathe

First ashtanga class at Down Under Yoga and it felt SO FREAKING GOOD! Started off with a short chant and dived straight into Sun Salutations A. The first few rounds felt pretty straight forward. But then pretty quickly I found it really hard to keep track of my breathing and the sequence. I was asked to watch as Meena and another fogi (fellow yogi) moved over to Sun Salutations B. After they practiced that for a bit, We moved over to the lotus position. Some good shoulder stretch and body holds (names of which I don’t quite remember now!) and we closed out the session with a long Shavasana. The heat in the room and the consistent nasal breathing had me sweating loads by the end.

I’m consciously working on improving my breathing and working on my core and with this brief exposure to Ashtanga, I’m psyched about its tremendous benefits. With mandated early AM classes at least thrice a week, It’s going to be a huge time commitment. It’s going to be an interesting few weeks initially as we try and work out our new schedule. Truly excited to see this through!

Ashtanga

Miss Me and I went for an observation class of Ashtanga at Down Under Yoga before work. Been on cards for a while now and we finally decided to give it a shot today.
To be honest, looks pretty daunting and mesmerizing! Given my flexibility, rather the lack of it, this is going to be pretty interesting!