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Decided to do a ‘revision’ practice & ran David Swenson’s Primary Series dvd yesterday… along with all the stuff I’ve forgotten during my own practice (which tends to slip & get unfocused left to myself) I’d forgotten DS does handstands during navasana & standing vinyasas in between asanas in the seated sequence.

It was a good session. Kept me moving (didn’t realise how slow I’ve gotten about moving/breathing/getting into poses–thought I was pretty good at focusing on my breath & breathing regularly, but no…) & I was sweat dribbling by the time I reached the Prasarita Padottanasanas… & I thought I had stopped sweating during practice because I was getting used to the sequence (hahaha…)

I like the idea of making my practice ‘mine’. But I’m also afraid–like this instance may demonstrate–that I may make it ‘mine’ in the sense of making it too easy for myself.

eg. I’ve been giving myself 5 A’s & 3 B’s to open… sometimes even 3 A’s & 3 B’s, on the excuse that it’s enough to warm me up & there isn’t much time & there are all those jump backs in the seated sequence anyway… so doing 5 A’s & 5 B’s along with the dvd shook my system up a bit.

I wonder if anyone else (anyone human, I mean, other than David Swenson & other teacher-gurus?) practice handstand (lifts to) during navasana? As part of their daily practice?

And now I’m feeling a bit bad because some time last month another WoYoPracMo member posted about how she found it difficult ‘learning’ ashtanga from the Swenson & we were all saying she could get a book to help/it was best to get a teacher/pick up the modifications he suggests…

… after all my first exposure to ashtanga was via dvds & I’m still alive… I still think it’s good to have some basic idea of what to expect before heading into a class.

But I could/would have been more sympathetic if I remembered how scary my first sight of David Swenson casually floating back (from a seat position) to uncurl himself into a handstand was…

part of me was going:

I wanna do that I wanna do that I wanna wanna wannado that!!!

But another part of me, just as loud, was going

nevernevernevernevernever gonna happen!!!!!!!!!!

It hasn’t happened yet. But I’ve got past the fear of the unknown because it’s no longer unknown. And I’ve learned the one step at a time, one day at a time principle, which may be the most useful of all.

Went to Borders this afternoon, to finally spend my voucher–& saw Christine for the first time in ages… or rather, saw her across the outdoors bistro–she didn’t seem to mind, in fact she waved–She looked fine. No–she looked happy, vibrant, gorgeous…

Maybe it’s being away from the environment. Definitely time for all of us to move on!


3 Responses

  1. We have the same difficulty with home practice, and from what I’ve heard and read, it is very common to struggle with this. But because I know of people who practice daily at home, I know it can be done! As you said, I think it’s about making it a habit—a routine. That’s why it helps me to practice at the same time every day.

    My teacher started me on Intermediate, and I can’t do drop backs. I guess some teachers don’t think the “rule” about doing drop backs before starting Intermediate is so important.

  2. I’m glad it’s not just me.
    But it’s going to be tricky now, cos I’m trying to move towards a more home based practice…
    I had a great learning experience at Pure Yoga, but the place really doesn’t feel right any more. (really tragic cos I’ve got membership there till June!)
    However I figure this gives me some ‘space’ to build up my home practice. It takes 3 months to establish a new routine, right? Previously, there was always a mad rush to get there & on the mat by 6.30am & almost more time spent travelling to & from class, almost as much paid for parking & transport as for class fees… but yes, I needed the teacher then.
    Now I believe I need to refine my Primary Series, gain confidence in wall drop backs (!), do Yin practice on my off days & when I am ready for Intermediate (which I have started ‘illegally’ via dvd) I will go to a mysore classes at little shala on Mosque Street which gives off less big business, commercial glitz & weight loss vibes…

  3. I know what you mean about making the practice yours might mean making it easy. I have that tendency. Because I practice four days a week with friends, I let myself take it easy on the between days. I find it hard to push myself when I’m alone.

    I was told by one teacher that handstands between navasanas were more for show than anything else, so I’ve never taken them very seriously. I suppose if everything else had fallen into place, maybe then I would try them (oh, probably not).

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