On having a purpose. Notes from Prashant’s class
Today’s class was a bit more physical than the preceding ones, but philosophy is still very much the focus. It is getting a little bit easier to follow the rotation of poses and the switching between “come and listen” and “go and do.”
Here are the main lessons I took from class. I’m going to be brief as my hand is kind of bugging me from too much writing, blogging and Facebooking while sitting in a chair under the fan. I need to move to the table even though it is not under the fan. (again, learn to deal with the non optimal circumstance)
Have a purpose in doing. Even if it turns out to be the wrong purpose, you’ll end up with a better result (and a better purpose) if you start out with a purpose.
I was reminded of the movie, Babe, for some reason. “Pigs don’t have a purpose.” Well, Babe turns out to have a much bigger purpose than being Sunday dinner.
The purpose of being here is to learn, not to do. Becoming a better learner should be the aim. There’s a RIMYI t-shirt that says, “learning is as much an art as teaching.”
Work with the concept of “You, yours, and in you” not the idea of it is “you doing the pose.” He says this in pretty much every class. What I take this to mean is if we think about solely ourselves in the doing of the pose, it is a manifestation of ego. If we work with a more collective integrity, then we have a more expansive sense of what aspects of us are doing the asana.
Today he used the metaphor of team work to illustrate this process. We should be making body act as a team acts. When the team work, is well established all the part function better
“Use yoga as a means to understand your own embodiment.”
There’s more to yoga than embodiment, but he has a very rich understanding of embodiment. We are embodied, we should aim to understand that embodiment.
“Prepare yourself to approach the study on a deeper level.”
Integrative association with the breath is a large part of that process.
Our normal way of categorizing poses is for beginners.
Rather than thinking about poses in terms of standing poses, forward bends inversions, etc, learn that any pose can be done for a variety of purposes. By this he did not so much mean for a therapeutic effect, but if we focus on doing the asana from the pelvis, which is mostly what we worked on today, we see one, let’s say, energetic array, if we spinized or brain-ized the same asana, the energetic would be different.
The normal categorization is pose based rather than yogasana based.
Skill is ability to achieve numerous results from a limited set of resources.
He used the example of Milk, eggs, and ghee you can make a number of delicacies. “if you are a skilled house wife.” If not so skilled, maybe only one or two things.
We are given everything that we need.
He talked some about karma here. W are not given a burden heavier that what we can bear. Again, more to come.
We make the mistake of thinking that we are overwhelmed by responsibility.
By and large, we did the asana from the pelvis. What does that mean?. First I think it meanstake your awareness there. Bring the awareness of your breath to that region. Breath from that region. Observe what happens in the the asana when that region is the focus.
Could you teach without reference to muscles or bones? Would you be reduced to silence? (Though of you here, Karlie and that story you told about a teacher of yours.
Tasting the nectar of yoga is not like drinking instant coffee.
I’ll write more about this later, but he specifically referred to BKS’ claim that he has tasted the nectar of yoga. Prashant actually said, this is not where he is aiming. He did not say where he was aiming. He said, we get rapped by the consumeristic mindset of wanting everything now (ie instant coffee). Yoga doesn’t work that way.
As we were in the final pose before Savasana again he talked about
Make a lesson better for yourself than the one I just gave you
Rope sirsasana, trik, utthita hasta pad, and Parsva hasta pad.
Rotation three, women did supta 1 and men Bharadvajasana 1
Choice of JS, VK, chair sarvangasana,
Savasasna legs in Swastikasana.
More later, I’m going to go stand on my hands.