Reminder: You’re probably doing Chaturanga wrong
There was a short period of time when I wasn’t doing the full Ashtanga Primary Series but I was doing the full vinyasa sequence up to Navasana.
Grimmly has a nice post on it here. I agree with his assessment of doing the full vinyasa — basically coming to standing between every seated pose: “Really nice practice, felt light and airy somehow, perhaps all that coming up to standing and getting a breath of fresher air.” It can make you feel more stretched out and less compacted than the half vinyasa, when you just go through the dogs, so to speak.
What also caught my eye was the video of Lino Miele he posted. But it wasn’t because of the full vinyasa. It was his Chaturanga. And the fact he paused at the bottom, with eyes looking ahead.
Oh! Right. It’s an actual pose, and not something you are supposed to move right through on your way to updog. Pause. Breath. Look forward. I know this, of course, but it is so easy to forget the importance of the basics.
Here’s the video:
Today, during what ended up being a long and pretty great practice, I focused on making sure I didn’t blow past that pause at the bottom of the Chaturanga. A few times, I found myself in updog — or even worse, down dog — and realized I hadn’t stopped. But I mostly remembered, and I can report a couple of things:
- It definitely provides a moment of grounding, a feeling of stability and “here-ness.” In some ways, it is the opposite of what Grimmly describes a full vinyasa as being. It isn’t stifling or anything, but I felt very conscious of my vinyasa.
- I can feel the after-effects. My upper back, shoulders and arms already are feeling like they had their fair work-out today.
- I think it helps make you more conscious of your updog, too, and where your chest is and where your shoulders are.
Now, we’ll see how it all works out in the next practice.
Posted by Steve