Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ashtanga Yoga Led Primary Series Class


I am practicing Ashtanga yoga for the last 10 years. I am 51 years old and I still do full primary series. For how long I don't know. I am not an advanced practitioner, far from it. I do struggle and here is the post about that. :)


My muscles are sore and I feel tired this morning. Last night I was on led full primary series in the local studio. The class was at 6:00 PM, it was packed, there were more than 20 people and energy was high. During the class, I tried to place my attention on mula bandha. It is really hard...

We started with the chant followed by Sun Salutations... 5 A and 3 B. I'm not quite sure what is the reason but nowadays at the lead primary class it is always 3A+3B or 5A+3B. I was taught that it should be 5A+5B. Anyway, in sun salutations I was stretching myself and I enjoyed the movements.


Padagustasanas, Trigonasanas and Parsvakonasanas were strong and I did it with precision and long breaths. I kept contracting mula bandha while I was pulling my stomach in. Teacher counted a long 5 breaths in each pose and my heart-rate increased.

I calmed the breath in Prasarita poses and Parsvotanasana. In Prasarita, my head is just an inch from the floor. Since I started daily practice, here, I see the most improvement. I'm hoping by next month or so I'll be able to touch the floor with my head.

In Uthita-hasta-padangustasanas my standing leg was not straight and I was fighting with the balance. Teacher counted so slowly and I lost balance and touched the floor couple of times. I was breathing heavily and mula bandha was nowhere to be found.

I did the modification for Ardha-badha-padmotanasana, I bend the knee and touched the floor with my both hands. I was feeling pain like something pulling out from the hips. Indeed, good hip opener but very unpleasant pose.

Utkatasana and Virabidrasanas were okay. I was breathing heavily and my legs were trembling. Long five breaths on each side so I felt we are in the poses forever. I could hardly wait to sit down. I noticed that I don't bend the legs enough like in sun salutation B.


Breathing heavily and sweating like in the rain, I sit in Pashimotanasanas. I tried to engage mula bandha as hard as I could. I used long ujai breathing in order to calm the heart. In Urvatasana I was refreshed and strong.

In Janu-sirsasanas I tried to save the energy as much as I can. Long inhalation and exhalations in the poses and strong arms in vinayasas. I used blocks for the vinayasas. I am learning jump back and now I can lift myself up, do the rolling and extend my legs back. For now, I can do that only with the blocks. Then I put blocks on the side and do jump through but that is not even close to how should be.

Maryachasana A was okay, B - done with modification, C - just stop sigh, I can not bind as I use to do it before (stomach fat issue), and D - done with modification.


Navasana, 5 times, 5 long counts, with straight legs. On the third time I started trembling and shaking, my heart started to beat faster... First time since we started the practice I was feeling tired. Yes I was accustomed to half primary class. But here I have to continue.

Bujapidasanas and kurmasana are out of my comfort zone so I did just modification, mimicking the poses. I was breathing heavily and I tried to reconnect with the ujai breathing and keep a kind of pressure on mula bandha.

I don't know how I did Pindasana and Kukutasana, I simply don't remember those poses. My mind went blank. My breath returned in Badha Konasanas and Padagustasanas. I felt a bit recovered from tiredness, my breathing become normal and I performed Setu-bandasana okay. I even did chakrasana.


Urdva Dandursana was performed 3 times with five breaths. I was quick and I did not follow teacher's count but I did it three times. I went straight to forward bend, my heart wanted to go out of the chest. The back-bend was so intense and I almost strengthen my hands. I felt warm and flexible.

I calmed the breath in Sarvagasana and Halasana. I was feeling the panic in pindasanas. My stomach was pressing me. OMG such a large stomach I have. I can see it clearly in these poses. Matsyasana was okay and I did Utana-padmasana too. I like those poses, they feel good for the back.

Sirsana - 15 breath counts. I was strong and I supported the pose by arms and elbows and very little by the head. I can not stand more than 15 breaths in the pose due to such balance or rather an imbalance, I am not relaxed into the pose.


I can not sit in the lotus position so Yoga-mudra, Padmasana and Utplithi were done with cross-legged modification. I was exhausted and when we stand for the last sun salutation I was so shaky. But my mind was quiet.

Shavasana I did not think. I did not have the power to think. I just lied down observing my trembling muscles.





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