An old yogi can learn new tricks

The first time I more or less (emphasis probably on the less) got / was able to do jump throughs and backs was — like lots of folks, perhaps — at a David Swenson workshop.

I distinctly recall something he said; well, I can paraphrase him: You should switch up how you cross your legs.

I remember it. But it isn’t something I’ve ever done, or really tried to do. I’ve been happy enough to have one facet of the Ashtanga practice that I can manage adequately.

An old yogi, via gurukripa

A couple weeks back, though, I was traveling for work. That meant a patented “hotel yoga” session. And the hotel was neatly carpeted — I’d only brought a travel rug, no mat, so the tiled bathroom was no option.

Some point during the practice, it occurred to me that I had a bit of a cushion, and for whatever reason I thought I’d give the opposite leg cross a go.

Voila! Success. Albeit a little awkward. (I also managed an overly long and lifted crow pose, with the fear of a major head bonk also minimized.)

Since then, I’ve been keeping up the switching; occasionally the newer side is a bit of a loud landing, but it continues pretty well.

Which means what, exactly? Just a reminder that those poses that seem a little beyond your ability might not be. (And, of course, the poses are just metaphors for the trials and experiences of life.)

Final thing: I don’t really consider myself “old.” But the title seems to fit.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

One thought on “An old yogi can learn new tricks”

  1. so true! I avoided Bhujapidasana as I thought it looked “too difficult” forever and was pleasantly surprised to find it not as challenging as I thought, lesson learned! I love using Malasana to come into Bakasana – knees press into back upper arms/back upper arms press into knees to amp up core – then you can extend one leg back with power – even if the first few tries are floppy. Also love adding in Lollasana – even in place of the vinyasa – for those of us not gifted in the float backs! love, love, love David Swenson! And Shelly Washington!!

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