Since I was just talking about Supta Kurmasana …

First off, my Kurmasana looks nothing like the one in this video from Kino MacGregor, although I do know my legs should be off the ground.

I was just talking about my experience with this pose, so Kino’s posting it — or at least Tweeting about it — is timely. (Isn’t everything with Ashtanga?)

A few things that leap out at me:

  • The reference to Marichyasana A at about the 55 second point.
  • The suggestion to stay on the ground at about 1:10.
  • The fact that the hands come together last, around 1:22. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before. It feels like feet crossed is always the last thing to happen, whether a person is doing it themselves or a teacher is assisting.
  • At about 2:05, she talks about taking a few deep breaths to open the hip joint. Right here we have some competing ideas, given other’s — such as Nancy Gilgoff — suggestion to move into poses ASAP.
  • The feet do the work. That comes about at 2:48. For me, that will come in about six more years, I wager.
  • At 2:56, more holding for a bit. See my point two up with Nancy.
  • At 3:10, the mention again of Marichy A and the shoulder rotation makes total sense to me. So I’m prepped for six years from now. The repetition of moves like this in Ashtanga is absolutely one of its beauties.
  • About 3:23 is when she starts talking about exiting, which was my issue earlier. The trick is to keep pressing the head into the feet? Really? I think the trick is getting my hands down. But she’s the Certified Ashtangi!

I have something to think about come Sunday’s practice.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

3 thoughts on “Since I was just talking about Supta Kurmasana …”

  1. At Nancy’s shala on Maui the extras in that clip would be know as ‘research postures’
    I recall Nancy saying, “that’s ok, but you’re not doing Ashtanga” “Where you are in a posture is where you are that day”
    My understanding is that she places more emphasis on the internal movements of energy during the practice, than the goal of external form.

    Having said that Casie, one of Nancy’s assistants in the Maui shala often mentions research postures. That seems to work better for some personalities.

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