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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jedi Yoga: Jump back, you will

Welcome to the hardes...er, most fun yoga class in the QC. There once was a time when the "h" word (along with the "s" word - "sweat") was shameful in relation to yoga in the QC: we're just moving and breathing, right? Yes, yes we are, moving ourselves all over that mat, getting heavier and heavier. Maybe that's why we've seen this type of yoga - full of arm balances, core strength and postures that cultivate a true lightness of body - called "jedi" yoga, because like Luke Skywalker, you must use The Force, otherwise that 15th "Lift up" just isn't happening.

It's truly "tapas," penance and austerity, to practice with this intensity, hovering at the knife edge of the body's limits. It's not right for everyone, of course (no one practice style is), but some wouldn't have it any other way. Here, there is no choice but to learn to surrender, no room for ego. Progress is sharp and steep, as is the learning curve.

We've had a request to share the sequence from today. Like any vinyasa class at tapas, we follow the basic Ashtanga format: Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations), standing postures, seated postures, backbending, and closing postures. Within this framework, the selection of postures varies every week. The pacing and selection of postures is adjusted to suite the difficulty level: Vinyasa I is a great beginner class; II is a little more challege and adventure; Vinyasa III is not for the faint of heart, but an absolute blast for those wanting to try something different and not attached to results.

A bit of background to better understand the postures sequence included here. It's in Sanskrit, but with a little help from Google image search, you'll get the idea. Unless otherwise noted, each posture is done on both sides. Often, the movements of Surya Namaskara A are used to move in and out of postures, called "vinyasa." Sometimes we do a "full vinyasa" - from Samasthitih (basic standing pose) into the posture and back up to Samasthitih. Other times, it's a "half-vinyasa": from seated, jumping back to Chaturanga Dandasana, Up-dog, Downdog, and then the next posture. This gives an incredible sense of flow and heat through the whole practice. Each posture is held for five breaths. All non-standing poses with a left and right side include a half-vinyasa between sides, but we've left this out to save space.

So, without further ado...

Surya Namaskara A (x5), B (x3)
Utthita Trikonasana/Parvritta Trikonasana/Samasthitih
Utthita Parsvakonasana/Parvritta Parsvakonasana/Samasthitih
Virabhadrasana III (called - I'm not kidding - "Dikasana" in the Ashtanga series) arms forward/arms wide/arms forward/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Vasisthasana/vinyasa/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Utkatasana/lift up/vinyasa/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Sirsasana lift into Bakasana or Urdhva Kukkutasana/vinyasa/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Koundinyasana I/vinyasa/Koundinyasana II/vinyasa/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Virabhadrasana I/II/vinyasa/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Adho Mukha Vrksasana/vinyasa/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Pasasana/vinyasa
Paschimottanasana/vinyasa
Purvottanasana/vinyasa
Ustrasana/vinyasa
Parighasana/vinyasa/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Chaturanga Dandasana/Urdhva Mukha Svanasana A (head up)/B (head down)/vinyasa/Samasthitih
Natarajasana/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana/vinyasa
Bhujangasana/vinyasa
Rajabhujangasana/vinyasa
Samanasana A/B/vinyasa
Hanumanasana/vinyasa
Akarana Dhanurasana/vinyasa
Viparita Dandasana/chakrasana
Eka Pada Sirsasana/vinyasa
Urdhva Dhanurasana (x3)/chakrasana/Paschimottanasana
Sarvangasana/Halasana/Karna Pidasana/Matsyasana/chakrasana
Sirsasana
Baddha Padmasana/Yogamudrasana/Padmasana
Ut Pluthi/vinyasa/Samasthitih/vinyasa
Savasana

*whew*

5 comments:

Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

Let's try that again...

Whew? I think that qualifies as the understatement of the year. It was fun.

BG said...

That was fun, but brutal. Probably the toughest class I personally have ever been too (that I can remember). But like I said...lots of fun. We'll see how I do tomorrow during the Primary Series. Perhaps I will go from Surya Namaskara directly into a 80-minute Savasana. "Take rest"...indeed!

KLG said...

I think this says it all..."not attached to results"!

Ann said...

Sorry I missed on Sat. It sounds like it was fun.

I did google image some of the poses I didn't know. Most of these seem to fall under Shannon's umbrella of "Maybe someday..." LOL. Considering I'm usually thinking "Ok never" in my case, it should be quite interesting! I'm in for sure next Sat. :)