Thursday, 5 September 2013

Notes Part II: Kino and Tim in Copenhagen

This is the second part from my notes from Kino and Tim's weekend workshop in Copenhagen. The notes concern the Guided Class (≠Led Class) on Saturday morning. This means Tim guided us through Primary Series (up to Navasana) in a slow pace, with detailed instructions and sometimes pauses in which a part of an asana was broken down for us.

  • Trikonasana: we should try to pull back the side of the hip over which we tilt forward so much that we feel like we'd pop back up to standing if we weren't holding on to the big toe.
  • Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (reversed side angle pose): we should be very aware of the connection ('bind') of the shoulder and the knee and never lose it while in this asana (some people tend to have their shoulder almost in front of their knee instead of next to it). To increase the rotation of the spine press the hand into the floor as much as possible without losing alignment.
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana: in this asana (and actually all asanas, especially the standing ones) we should try to think of the foundation of Samastithi. We should keep our upper body as much in this foundation as possible, which means we shouldn't sacrifice its alignment for the position of the leg. If we cannot yet stretch the leg fully without tilting our upper body to one side it's better to bend the knee a little and stand very straight. Even when we fold forward over the leg in front of us we should think of the upper body as in Samastithi, just in a different angle to the floor.
  • Half-Handstand after Virabhadrasana A and B: we always take the energy to kick up from the right leg, no matter if it feels like it's the 'wrong leg' in the beginning. When we kick up we should try to not think of safe and unsafe zones (you know, the higher you kick up the less 'safe' you feel because you get closer to maybe falling over to the other side). Instead we should try to change that thinking pattern to heavy versus light. We don't wan't to be in the heavy zone, right? We want to perform a short handstand. So we aim for the light zone. We try to find it and be in it for a short moment. In that moment, 'Guruji wants us to tap the right foot onto the left leg, because it looks pretty' (that's what Tim said). Then the straight legs go down again and hit the floor slightly staggered. Tim explained it like 'Tap-Tu-Duck'  or 'foot to leg-foot 1 down-foot 2 down' :)
  • Janu Sirsasana B: we should find the most uncomfortable spot to sit down with our anus on the heel, so that we might even raise our eyebrows in surprise (oh, Tim!). This is the best asana to really find Mula Bandha and engage it.
  • Halasana: we should try to put as little weight as possible on the toes, so that just the toenails come to the floor. We should try to keep our backs straight with the core, so the pelvis lifts a bit back and upwards.
  • Uth Pluthi: just before we lift up we should focus all of the kinetic energy of the whole practice we just did and all the stirring of the mind into this pose and JUST - DON'T - COME - DOWN - BEFORE - TEN - COUNTS - ARE - OVER! :)
I hope some of the notes are helpful for you and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

Personally I found it very helpful to try and change the emotion of safe vs. unsafe to the sensation of heavy vs. light in the handstand after the warriors. It was the best advice of the day. We tried out kicking up into it several times then and there. Some times before he gave the advice and then some more after he gave it. The difference was really big and for the first time in my life I stayed up steadily in some sort of handstand, for 2 or 3 seconds, and felt all the lightness he described. It was wonderful!

The next part of the notes will concern twisting and there will definitely be some really helpful things in that. Stay tuned!

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