Monday, April 28, 2003

I managed to dodge practicing at home yet again. When the 12:00 Improv class didn't work out, I figured I'd have to go it on my own here. But, to the rescue: The Intro to Ashtanga class at 5:30! It's a very intro class, geared toward people with little or no yoga or ashtanga experience. Tim teaches this class. He spends the first 20-30 minutes going over some of the philosophical underpinnings to the practice of ashtanga. He will usually review some of the fundamental sutras, he'll go over the concepts of bandhas, drishti and breathing, maybe discuss chakras or any of a wide range of other topics. Then, when we all start fidgeting, he'll start a very gradual introduction into movement synchronized with breathing. He progresses from very basic movements into building a sun salutation, then moves the class through most of the standing postures, a few forward bends, marichy A & C, navasana and then some wind down poses, ending in savasana. He does teach a very basic roll over and jump back vinyasa.

It's a very good class for beginners and for more advanced students as well. I feel like I'm getting a review of fundamentals each time I go. It is also just about the only place, outside of workshops and retreats, where we get exposure to teaching about the aspects of ashtanga outside of the asana or practice branch. Ashtanga classes are typically not noted for a lot of verbal teaching. In contrast, in the two Iyengar classes I have been to, (see my snotty review here), there was quite a lot of verbal discussion and teaching. It is nice to be able to tap Tim's expertise in a special class like that and benefit from his verbal description on proper technique.

Hardest part of the intro class is that it is slow enough that I don't heat up much, so I stay pretty stiff the whole time.

I operate all day tomorrow, so I'll stop here. Two diatribes in one day is more than enough to put people thru.

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