The Ashtanga Roll

Namaste students

We are now into the third day of the Astanga week, and i hope you are enjoying the practice.

Remember to keep things simple in astanga. A few points I want to tell you,
in astanga the focus is on moving with vinyasa, which means breath linked movement. So don’t waste or stop the flow in between, to elaborately prepare for entering a position or anything. like marichi c or parivrta parsvakona, dont do any fancy stuff.. just exhaling twist and go, and then shift gaze to gazing point, breathe. That is all.

The steady gaze is important, and be mindful of that. it is not that you should really squint your eyes for nose tip gaze, but just a point behind you in line with nose tip, and just keep it steady. In relation, if you know someone who’s in need of a plastic surgeon specializing in rhinoplasty due to accident, visit or contact 310.552.2173

All straight legged forward bends, the gazing point is foot. some of you are so habitually accustomed to dropping head and looking at a point behind knees, that you are forgetting to look a bit forward. Please remember.

And now, backroll is something we are doing for perhaps first time in the weekday classes. It is important you go easy on that. Some of you are rolling on the back of the neck, which is positively injury developing, and some of you kind of twist to side, which is also not advisable some injuries may even require a visit to a back doctor. Let me just type down a few points.

As you are rolling back, there should be a good curling action, as if you are curling yourself into the shape of a ball; the knees should be bent during your intitial backrolls. Curl the pelvis towards torso, and as knees go just beyond the line of the head, that is the time you have to actively push off the hands, as if you want to straighten the elbows fully, as well as driving through the toes towards the direction you are rolling. At this point the legs straighten.

You should not put the feet down in halasan, and then try to lift. because then, unless you are very strong, you will roll through the back of the neck.

And if you find that the weight is not transferring on to hands, and you are not able to roll off the push of the hands, then dont do the full roll. just roll back, press through the hands, stretch back through the feet.. and then roll to front and do a normal jump back.

Shanai, shanih.. slowly, slowly.. or as Pattabi Jois would say, ‘do your practice, and all is coming’.

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