"some practitioners have started doing handstands all over the place. Ekam, dwe, then trini you lift up to handstand. This is not correct. It’s a way of showing off. It’s not yoga. It’ll make you crazy (and on a purely physical note, it’ll make your shoulders tight)."[This is Ellie's paraphrase of Sharath's words, by the way.]
So all that fancy floating back and forth in the Suryas is "not correct", and will "make you crazy"! In a recent comment on my floating post, Kiki also independently verified the truth of Sharath's words. She writes:
"Floating is showing off...and here's why - the floatee changes their breath (the vinyasa - the actual "yoga" of the technique). So the vinyasa technique is abandoned for the sake of appearance or for that "aren't i groovy" feeling.
The jump back to chatvari is an exhale.
Can you tell me that on you way back you are exhaling UP to your float?
Or, like a hundred others I have witnessed, do you add an extra inhale to rise to the fancy extra float?
Prove me wrong...but here's what Kiki Says."
Which brings me back to my confession. During this morning's practice, despite being aware of both Kiki's and Sharath's admonitions, I nevertheless continued to float back and forth in the Suryas. Why did I do that? No particular reason; it just felt really groovy, even though nobody's watching. Especially the float up to Nawa position; it just feels so good to be able to land with so much control. It's like I have rocket boosters under my feet that fire off just before they touch the ground, enabling my feet to hover there for a split second.
I won't even bother to defend myself here. I'll admit that I had to take an extra inhale to rise to the float, thereby messing up the vinyasa count. Which also means that I wasn't doing yoga, but circus tricks, and that I am slowly going crazy. So I am a floating circus clown who is slowly going crazy! Actually, I may already be crazy... Have you noticed that my last few blog posts have been a bit "off"?
This is me doing Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana a few years down the road
[Image taken from here]
But... I may be in some pretty good company. Have you noticed how many big name Ashtanga teachers float a lot? There is David Robson, of course, who recently released his floating DVD (maybe it needs to be renamed "How to become a floating clown"). And I'm pretty sure I'm seen Kino float in a few of her videos. Actually, even Richard Freeman floats!
So what's going to happen from this point? Well, maybe in the next few weeks, all these teachers will release official statements declaring that they do not have to take that extra inhale in order to rise to that fancy extra float. Maybe David Robson will even add an extra chapter to his DVD, in which he will explain how to float up without taking an extra breath.
Or maybe all these teachers will just erase all their floating videos, and pretend they never existed. And floating will, from now on, become a lost art...
I don't know what's going to happen: I'm just idly speculating. In the meantime, you will know that there is at least one floating clown out here...