Sunday, March 14, 2010


Happy, lazy Sunday! Losing the hour for Daylight Savings Time definitely gave me a pause, but it’s not too big a deal since I don’t need to be anywhere by noon.

My practice was low key; I felt a bit stiff. I noticed this particularly in Urdhva Dhanurasana. I probably wasn’t warm enough in the legs for the pose. I felt like there was an energy block in my hips.

I practised with Sharath’s CD today, taking a breather with Richard Freeman leading me through my five Intermediate poses, then back to Sharath for the closing sequence. I haven’t done Sharath’s closing recently (I often do a self-led closing). That Sirsasana is one long hold! I did it, but I was dripping sweat near the end. The lift-up work and Lolasana must be doing me some good because I was able to hold Utpluthi for 10 full Sharath-counts. My arms were shaking, but I did it. This is a FIRST! I never imagined I would be able to hold the pose for that long without touching down!

My main aim for practice today (aside from the Primary Series and my Intermediate poses) was to pay careful attention to Sharath’s Sanskrit counts. I kind of have this ‘fuzzy goal’ of being able to lead Surya Namaskara A & B with Sanskrit counts by the end of the month, when my one-and-only Astanga class starts back up. Learning this is not a big deal, except it kind of is, because I have deep, deep ’sun salutation’ grooves worn into my consciousness. I can pretty much teach a sun salutation on autopilot.

Come to think of it, shaking things up a bit is probably a very healthy exercise!

Since I was noticing the count more than usual, I was also noting all the quirks (and boy, are there quirks!).

For example, I never noticed before that Supta Padangustasana goes all the way to 28! Or that in instances where the count for Chaturanga falls on a different number, Sharath *still* says “Chatvari jump back!”. :-D

I noticed that Sharath’s word for the number 19 sounded MUCH different than what I learned (“navadasa”). In fact, he’s using a slightly different variation! It’s sounds like “ekona vimshatihi” and translates as “20 minus one”.

I’m still pounding away at the Sanskrit alphabet. To date, I’ve learned 14 letters. The vowels are behind me...I’m on to the consonants! First up: The Gutterals. These are sounds that originate from the back of the throat (see ‘Mouth Positions’ on this website). I’m also continuing to work on my ‘penmanship’ and memorisation.

And now, it’s time for...
The Internet Asks: Interesting Searches in My Access Stats

(The searches are in bold, my responses below)

i finished astanga primary series in 6 months
And then you went back to your day job at the Cirque de Soleil. Nicely done, partner!
(Seriously though, how did THAT search land someone on MY website?! *shakes head*)

months of practicing ashtanga every day
Now you’ve got the right idea! And you’ve come to the right place! If last year was the ‘Year of the Yoga Streak’, this year may well be the ‘Year of the 6-day Practice’. Let’s see if I can sustain it...

poster of pattabhi jois
So all of Guruji’s fan-girls can put it up in their Shala lockers (believe it or not, it actually exists, $19.00 at

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