The Asana Sutras and an Update on Post Pune Practice

2.46 sthira-sukham āsanam
Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit. (I)

Asana should be steady and comfortable. (B)

2.47 prayatna-śaithilyānanta-samāpattibhyām
Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.

[Such posture  should be be attained] by the relaxation of effort and by absorption in the infinite (B).

2.48 tato dvandvānabhighātaḥ
From then on, the sadhaka is undisturbed by dualities. (I)

From this, one is not afflicted by the dualities of the opposites. (B)

I realize  I’ve not been blogging as much lately and that  I have  been going through padas  I and II quickly. Mostly, I have been posting chunks that are related to each other topic wise and not saying much about them.  Once I  get to Pada III  again, I’ll slow down because  I will have to start adding in the diacritical marks myself rather than copying and pasting from the work Jeff has done.  I was working a lot with Pada  III  before going to Pune, but took a break  from that while I was there.   It will be good to get back to that work of  learning new sutras.   Pada IV  I’ve worked with  not much at all.

Also, I have not felt all that inspired about writing about yoga philosophy lately.  Obviously, not having the daily dose of Prashant puts me in a different context,  but I’ve also been writing more  “regular”  philosophy.

(As an aside,  even though feeling inspired to write,  having a burning desire to say something, to express ideas that come to mind,  is  wonderful,  in the larger context,   I don’t think it really matters if one feels inspired to write or  study. One should still do it and that doing it is a large part of making the inspiration happen.  The muse has to know where to show up each day, so to speak)

Anyway,  I have however,  been doing a good bit of  asana  lately, so   here are some comments on  Asana  two months after two months in Pune.   I definitely have more  ease is some poses that have been ongoingly difficult for  me.  Twists,  particularly on the left side are  coming much better,  Padmasana is more accessible  and my backbends  are  quite a bit stronger.  All the groin work I’ve been doing has led me to the realization of how important the leg actions are in  backward bending and once I’ve been getting my legs (hamstrings,  buttock tailbone)  more involved  paired with more open front groins  that’s been taking a lot of the effort out of my wrists and shoulders.     Also, I’m more “interested” in practice.   it is  still  a challenge to do  as much yoga as I was  doing there,  but  I am managing  between 2 and 3 hours  plus morning pranayama and whatever I do teaching wise.

I feel like my life has been on a more  even keel  since  I came back from  Pune.  A bit more steadiness in practice,  a bit more   effortless effort  does seem to be leading to being  less  affected by duality. I also think I had a great deal of anxiety about the trip itself,  leaving for that long, the logistics of  travel  etc  and  that’s simply not there anymore  and happily some new  anxiety has not emerged in its place.

Yesterday in  Devon’s class  we did a lot of malasana at the  beginning of  class  some  AMS, AMVrk and  a long time in Sirsasana   (Parsva Sirsasana, and Parsvaikapada variations)  and a lot of versions of  B1  followed by M1  and  my M1  was about the best I’ve ever done.   I’ve been having a lot of  experiences of  “wow, that’s the best I’ve done that pose”  lately.   Of course other poses,  like the right side of Ardha Matysendrasana seems  still  awful, even though I got the most solid grip on my toe on the left side that I’ve ever gotten.   Sarvangasana felt  truly transcendent after all those  twists.

Another benefit of more focus on asana  is that I do find myself inspired about sequencing.  Sequences come to my mind.   I want to explore different relationships of poses and ways to work them and I’m eager to share those explorations with my students.

Posted by Anne-Marie Schultz at 6:09 AM

Labels: Life post Pune 2014, practice remains., Sutra study


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