Well, well, friends and neighbors, hope your Saturday was as fun as the Vinyasa III time we had at the shala. The room was barely cooled off from last night's led Primary Series class and we were back at it. Hard to say what Freud would make of it, but two students admitted to dreaming about the room - "I'm not sure what was happening, but there was just so much beige..."
So, technically Vinyasa III isn't Ashtanga, per say, at least not by the book. Sharath would spot this "setlist" of postures as the work of a poser (E) any day. However, to quote somebody, somewhere, at some time: "But we just have so much fun, baby!"
In particular, the pack of ashtangis nearing the final stretch of the Challenge was on hand and on point. We had The Return of Jill, and yet another visiting yogi passing through: Dan from Hawaii was kind enough not to rub it in (that he's from and soon going back to Hawaii) and hung right with us through the usual Saturday madness - arm balances, inversions, deep hip movements. He also wouldn't admit to knowing Obama (yeah right - like Hawaii is such a big place).
Today we experimented with some of the unique vinyasa entries and exits that exist in the Intermediate (second) Series of Ashtanga. Mayurasana, Nakrasana, and Vatayanasana (pictured) made for great fun. You can see all of these poses as they are done in the flow of the series in this video (featuring some of the world's best known ashtangis as well as the man himself, Sri K Pattabhi Jois, everyone's favorite guru/enlightened being/high school PE coach - just look at those shorts!). For those of you looking for some adventure, here is another picture of Vatayanasana. View at your own risk...it's hard to tell from the picture, but you never know - it just might be That One Guy Who Was Next to You in That Class That One Time (you know the one we mean).
In another exciting development, we've uncovered some photos of the ancient, crumbling papyrus documents that E draws the Saturday classes from. Their origin, as well as how he came to possess them is still unknown, but it's clear from viewing them that they've come from a oral, barely literate tradition:
We are rounding the bend into the final straightaway of the Challenge '09. We'll end it in style tomorrow with the Sunday led Primary Series, barely five months old and already an institution.
If you don't know, you betta ax' somebody.