Namaste Book Club's Blog



chat transcript #2

here is a transcript from chat #2… it is only from the first half of the chat as the second was more personal reflections/experiences with asanas. We hope next week to utilize a community chat application that will facilitate easier transcripts.

Some key points from chat:

my favorite quote was “yoga is not external.” the breath leads the way, when you feel that the breath changes, you know you’ve gone too far in the pose

i like the way he suggested to start classes with gentle warm up movements and then to start focusing on the breath and movement coordination to bring the students into focus

as an ashtangi and a vinyasa yoga person, i definitely am big on using the breath not only to guage where i am and where i should go, but also to dictate the pace of my class

i like to start with savasana, and do a one minute savasana after pranayama, but i don’t usually like doing a mini savasana between poses

Shavasana- depends how strongly the class has been working and it can be a good place to refocus especiallt for beginners

i wanted to mention the order of TKVs sequence he laid out bc i thought he placed inversions in a rather interesting place

I agree. Inversions can be huge for people. But I guess it is an interesting concept to add them in the middle

he standing savasana was at the end of a “power meditation” class, and he wanted us to be grounded to be able to go about the rest of the day

Well it like Desi said respect the classic asanas

desi says that you should always start standing

No always savasana with some full yogic breath then warms then into the classic postures

i mention it b/c he is sort of rigid about this… always start standing, but then he’s into everyone getting out of their practice what they need

i did my training in ashtanga/ vinyasa and the “flow” was generally standing -> seated -> twists -> supine/ on the floor or back

Jaime he’d like that sequence! i think perhaps the more trad styles like Ashtanga would fit his model, but the more ecclectic ones like my flow classes wouldn’t?

He seemed to suggest that it was better to warm the whole body up ith the standing poses before moving into postures that focus on one area or another

byron baptiste’s power yoga starts with child’s pose, and i like that as a centering, connecting with your body exercise.

here’s another vinyasa krama book by another of krishnamacharya’s student – he breaks down the flow of postures in it as well, and offers difeerent kinds of sequencing… http://vinyasakrama.com/Image:Complete_book_cover.gif

Does anyone else have trouble with rigid sequencing? I like to keep my classes varied, and sometimes the class needs to get going right away, and sometimes they need to center and warm up slowly. Depends on everyone’s mood.

That was my one problem with TKV. Lots of other good stuff in the book, though.

Finding the balance between rigid Sequencing and suporting how the students are on any given day is a real skill

TKV says on pg 40 that our teacher is our guide to get us out of looking at ourselves the same way all the time

did anyone else find his discussion of how you breathe (not the breath and movement part) a little difficult?

Jodi, his breathing was backwards from the way most of us learned, filling chest rather than abdomin first. Is that what you mean?

yes his backwards breath , the reasons he gave for doing it that way seem to be the same reasons for doing it belly to chest

it’s described a weird way, but it is a way to fully exhale. i find that if i do it his way… then i am able to get more breath out

tkv’s way feels more natural to me on the exhale, but wrong on the inhale. I had to sit and try it for awhile to figure it out.

I think it’s most natural to me to belly breath, starting with the abdomin on both the inhale and the exhale. Probably not using my chest enough.

another thing i loved that he said was that our starting point is “the condition of our entire being at the present moment”

i enjoyed TKVs discourse on variations of asanas

ashley i also liked the variations discussion.. had never heard of a forward bend w/ a chair

i used to teach classes at an institute where people were sometimes really ill, and they’d try to come to class, but could only sit

I liked the forward bend in the chair suggestion. I have a number of elderly students who can’t get on the floor, so I’ve been working on some chair yoga stuff. I’d never thought about forward bends, though.

another thing i liked from ch 4 was about counterposes, he said “it’s not enough to climb the tree, we must know how to get back down”

hey i’m back and just catching up. i see the point of varying things and changing sequences in class – i started with ashtanga, veered off into power/ vinyasa coz i found ashtanga too rigid, and now back to ashtanga again and fallen in love with it.

agree jenny. i think props are helpful, especially when it helps students who eg., can’t touch the floor in trikonasana

I am a very big fan of “reformed” ashtanga teachers. Ashtanga seems to give them a good background to vary from.

ashley i’m glad you do that too. sometimes i get caught up in the tradition and i went so hardcore into doing ashtanga 6 days a wk and i just don’t think my body was ready for it, which is partly why i’m now injured and can’t practice at all

but i think even within a fixed series of poses, you can shift your focus, sometimes concentrating/ being more aware of bandhas, sometimes more aware of the breath…

but i think even within a fixed series of poses, you can shift your focus, sometimes concentrating/ being more aware of bandhas, sometimes more aware of the breath…and notice how that changes your practice (even if it’s the same sequecne)

Thanks everybody i’m off toteach a class, its been lively and a great experience. I’m going to start the class lying on their bellies and try some of Desi breath variations Chat next week namaste

so what do you guys think TKV would say about Ashtanga and Bikram? would he like the consistancy? or would he balk at the doing it the “right way”

nancy i think that he would probably say that it’s the right yoga for the right person, you know?

i’ve seen people practising the ashtanga sequence but modifying for their bodies, and i think that works too. it’s only the hardcore traditionalists who’d turn their noses up at that.

but in a way i think TKV is a traditionalist b/c i think he pushes classic postures

i know we talked about this last week, but one thing that i think is something to remember and that is that TKV really pushes for 1-on-1 teaching so some of his thinking might not apply to the classes we are all used to…

like on pg 38 he talks about brmhana and langhana and using those to help students with certain issues

I think that is where he came from… the 1 on 1 thing… not something we ‘westerners’ can easily do

🙂 Jamie: langhana to fast or reduce (like lengthening the exhalation

brmhana lengthening inhalation

i guess jodi , but he talks about it in a very one on one way… “your student needs help b/c they have some issue w/ abdomen teach langhana”

my teacher says if you cant breathe in a few classes to tell him and he will sit and breathe with you till you get it right

Just joining in… I agree that Desikachar typically refers to 1:1 as he is the origin of practices like viniyoga and yoga therapy style teaching

i guess i was wondering if when we read some of this should we keep in mind whether these techniques can be applied to varied student classes

i think the beauty of the book is he is calling up Krishnamacharya’s teachings and K taught sooooo many different styles and variations on this same “skeleton” of yoga basics

I cue breath on the sun salutaton, and moving into a pose for example, but while in a pose leave the breath to the individuals

i wonder maybe we could talk about poses we like? dislike? why? TKV talks about some of the poses, but really only a few

I sometimes remind them it is my breath.. and often I’ll do a countdown of 5, 4, 3, 2 1, which doesn’t seem very yogic but they know they are coming out soon

i think it if you’re starting off with headstand, it helps to go against the wall, but also just be aware that eventually becomes a crutch so you gotta move away from it soon.

Kris I like your thoughts about teaching the internal focus of poses, rather than focusing on alignment and all. That’s what has drawn me to tantra, and away from Iyengar… though there are no tantra teachers here.

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  1. * jiggly says:

    trying to catch up on the reading, hope to join in on the fun this sunday!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 9 months ago


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