Tony Advanced: Day 5
This morning's session is similar to the last few days. We discuss the postures. Today everyone asks questions about the postures they are curious about. What is the final step in the Peacock? Where do you put the hands in Full Cobra? What is the best way to work on Dancer? We also talk a bit about Ghosh and Tony's history with the yoga. Always interesting, especially since we hear so many rumors about the past decades. It is nice to get the stories from the man himself.
The yoga itself requires less and less effort. After so many hours spent practicing this week, my mind is perpetually calm and focused. My body is perpetually warm. When we stand up to do the postures, I feel a wave of relief and ease wash over me. Then we begin with the Standing Breathing or with some qi gong. We begin to move through the postures and my body is strong, my mind still.
I know that strength and flexibility are building from the regular practice, but it feels so effortless. Like each day I can do more and try less. It is like magic sometimes, though I can see my muscles building and I can stretch farther. The power of regular practice is profound.
Tony explains the final stage of Nauli, what the Bikram people call the "washing machine." The abdominal muscles roll from side to side, requiring isolation and control of each individual muscle group in the abdomen, all executed while holding the breath. Not easy.
He also shows us a separate Nauli exercise with the wrists. It seems like a simple movement - rotating the wrists together in harmony. But it is actually very challenging, revealing all the imbalances and weaknesses in the arms and wrists.
This afternoon was posture free. For the entire 3 hour session we discussed the setups, intentions and modifications of the last few groups of postures in the Complete Series. The conversation bounced back and forth as people chimed in with questions or additions. Tony demonstrated many of the positions and clarified the purpose of each.
As this week of training and study comes to an end, the strangest part is how close it all seems. Nothing, even the most "advanced" position seems far from me, both in understanding and execution. Tony has helped so much this week to push us further in our knowledge and experience.
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This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga