Thursday 13/10/16 - Prashant and the Tree of Yoga

Asana was done from the back of the body today. Other areas touched on were the pelvis and the chest. Prashantji was mainly concerned with us experiencing each pose in this fashion. We toiled with a long held Adho Mukha Svanasana in the ropes first as questions of access, attention, breath, visualisation, expansion, extension, conversation were demanded of us and repeated over and over again. Then twisting seated – Sukhasana, Baradvajasana I – the same;  what is the relational conversation that you are having with your back body, your back chest. We held rope Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and a kneeling Bhujangasana for a superlatively long time also, and the top of the chest bloomed.  
The fruits of our labors was discussed with the metaphor of a tree. In the beginning of our practice we plant a seed, as practice moves forward so does the tree grow – becomes a sapling, then producing it’s first blooms – finally as a fully fledged tree fruit is abundant. As our practice grows as we are given more to experimentation the riper the fruit. Prashantji also said that yoga was always taught through metaphor, for the practitioner to wander through using asana as the path. One’s depth of practice dictating how winding the path is. Though Prashant said that people don’t like his classes because there are so few asana in them, I always feel like I explored so much of the landscape of my practice. I’m never bored. In his way of teaching, the onus is on you to find the  level at which you participate, partake, part with; the dimension at which you experience your awareness, your activity, your address-al.

Asana 

Adho Mukha Svanasana in the ropes or
-    Parsva Sukhasana
-    Baradhvajasana I
Ropes I Backward extension then shins on a bolster, Bhujangasana in the ropes OR
-    Baradhvajasana I several times whilst each group moved onto the ropes.
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana I
Sirsasana
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana II (Parsva) OR
Marichyasana I several times
Sarvangasana
-    Add your own variations – mine were
o    Eka Pada
o    Parsva in Sarvangasana
o    Vrksasana in Sarvangasana
o    Urdhva Padmasana
o    Parsva in Urdhva Padmasana

Trikonasana!
This was revolatory. I planted roots into the marble, paying extra attention to my heels; circumventing the whole of the pad of the heel and aiming to maintain it as the pose climbed up my body
Uttanasana
End
Prashant also talked about the difference between “staying” and “maintaining” the pose; using the metaphor of travel. If you go somewhere to visit, you pack differently than if you go somewhere to live. If you are just “staying” for a while you pack for your stay, if you are emigrating then there is much more to consider, you pack to “maintain” your existence in that place. So it is with practice of asana. Maintain, not only stay.

Tricia AmheiserComment