Saturday, June 25, 2011

Practice report: Led Primary with Sharath, the vinyasa count in Mari C and D

I did Sharath's led primary this morning for the first time in many months. I had to do primary at my own pace after I tweaked my right knee when moving to Minnesota last year, and going into, say, Marichyasana D in one vinyasa count was quite simply impossible (at least, not possible without tweaking my knee even more).

So it was with some apprehension that I put the CD into the player, and heard Sharath's voice come on. My knee has recovered to the point where I can get into padmasana and all its variations in primary without any pain or discomfort if I pay attention to alignment and not try to push through things. But thus far, this has been true of my own practice, at my own pace; it still remained to be seen whether this would hold up to Sharath's strict vinyasa count. Moreover, Sharath's led primary is 68 minutes (including opening and closing chants; yes, an hour and eight minutes!), and my own full primary has never been shorter than an hour and twenty minutes. Will I have the strength and stamina to survive Sharath's relentless pace?

Well, things turned out much better than I expected on the strength and stamina front. I kept pace quite easily with Sharath throughout the whole thing. When I got to the closing chants, I was just a little bit breathless, but otherwise, the whole practice was nice and smooth. I am surprised at this; maybe all that full primary and second up to Karandavasana has been really helping me to build up my strength and stamina, without my knowing it? Interesting.

There was also another interesting discovery. This one is about the vinyasa count. It turns out that this whole time, I have been operating under the mistaken assumption that I have two vinyasa counts to get into both Marichyasanas C and D. I have been thinking that the count is "Sapta: Inhale, jump into the posture, Ashtau: Exhale, bind + 5 breaths". Turns out I was wrong. For Mari C and D, it is simply Sapta: Inhale, jump into the posture, bind. And then the counting starts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5...). The first time I got into Mari C this morning (on the first side), I was unaware of this, and actually found myself thinking: Hey, wait a minute, Sharath! You forgot Ashtau! And I found myself fumbling to get my wrist as he started counting, "one.." 

But when I think about it a little more, this vinyasa count for Mari C and D makes sense, actually: Since there is no forward bending involved in Mari C and D, why would you need Ashtau to bend forward into the posture? Of course, this makes things a bit more challenging for me. Now I know that if I want to follow the vinyasa count strictly, I really only have one count to jump into the posture and bind in Mari C and D.

Well, I just realized that unless you are an Ashtanga geek like I am, you probably won't find any of the things I said above interesting. But well, this being a yoga blog, I should talk about my practice at least some of the time in order to maintain a certain level of authenticity, shouldn't I? ;-)

In other news: I actually have a question that I hope at least some of you out there might be able to answer. Over the last couple of months, I have noticed that a post that I wrote quite a few months ago titled "Coffee and Siddhis: A Fantastic Tale" has been consistently getting pageviews from visitors. Which leaves me quite surprised, since I do not know of any websites or blogs that link to this post (I even did a google search on it to find out). I'm not complaining, of course: I love it when people read my blog posts, no matter how they get to them! :-) But I'm still mystified: How do so many readers know to find this particular post? Do any of you out there have any answers to this? Just curious.


  1. Hi Nobel - In answer to your question about the Coffee and Siddhis post: people are probably finding the post through the pictures you used. They're titled "Sharath.jpg" and "Coffee.jpg" so are probably very popular, straightforward choices in image searches.

    That's just my theory. I could be wrong.

  2. Thanks, Megan. This is a good theory, and is probably right. I never thought of it :-)

    Hmm... moral of the story? Use popular, easily searchable pictures if you want more people to read your blog? ;-)

  3. Also on the subject of your you have google analytics installed? can see where people are coming from among other interesting stats.

  4. Thanks for the suggestion, Christine :-) I'll look into google analytics.

  5. hello Nobel, just thought i'd introduce myself since you're curious to where the visitors of your blog come from.. I've been following this blog (among others) for some time now, but this is the first time i comment.
    Being sort of a beginner to ashtanga and practicing mostly at home, i find lots of very useful information on various levels.

    so i thank you - and all the ashtanga blog authors - so much for sharing!

    Oh and i'm portuguese, currently living in switzerland.

    on a side note, dunno about the coffee but around here that would translate more on the lines of 'pas de chocolat, pas de prana' ;)

  6. Thanks for sharing, Sil. The Ashtanga blogosphere is actually very important to me as well; as somebody who practices mostly at home too, it is a way for me to stay connected to a community of like-minded people like you who encourage and inspire me :-)

    I've heard wonderful things about Switzerland, and how beautiful it is. I hope to go there someday :-)