Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Rest of Jason's Workshop

I totally enjoyed the rest of Jason's weekend workshop. Jason is a deliberate and focused teacher. He keeps your attention fixed for the entire 3 hours. His rhythm and language create an effective and successful learning environment. Since the last time I studied with him, he has weaved more vinyasa into the sequencing.

Saturday we did arm balances and Sunday we worked on the arches and the calves. My computer is toast. When fixed, I will post video.

Saturday Recap
His approach to arm balancing is similar to mine: to discover the arm balance in other postures and from other directions. But his presentation was so brilliantly consistent and effective. And his technical masculine matter of fact style was a great contrast to me. He is continually emphasizing that all arm balances are basically plank or chaturanga with the legs doing different things. He removes the mystery and simultaneously gives very digestible bite size pieces to chew on.

He kept us flowing in the midst of the breakdowns. We did locusts as counter poses.

Alana and I had tried to encourage a lot of the male practitioners at Lulu's to come, thinking that hearing instruction from a man would be helpful. The men that showed up confirmed that yes, the somewhat geeky technical instruction from a similar body type was incredibly effective.

In moving towards Bakasana
- Jason started us in Child's pose, pointing out that except for the arms, the body is in the same shape as crow/crane.
- When we were in plank, he emphasized the firm pressing in rounded plank
- Had us find it supine on our backs
- His instruction of tucking the arms in and pressing and rounding the upper back was really effective for moving towards straight armed bakasana

In moving towards towards Vasisthasana
- He had us do it standing with arms out from our sides
- Then He had us do Tree pose as a precursor to the bent knee variation
- Then He had us do Utthita Hasta Pandangustasana at the Wall. Extended Leg up wall, hand holding foot/toe as prep to do extended leg variation of Vasisthasana

His Parsva Bakasanawas especially brilliant
- We played a lot with the twisting aspect
- In the vinyasa flow we did twisting lunge and revolving side angle pose
- MarichyasanaC Sequence (with dandasana with hands behind you and bent elbows as counter pose)
- The big revelation was to arms out to the side, hands facing forward. The play was to lean over, keeping far arm straight. See Video for clarity.

From Parsva Bakasana, we moved to Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2. We had done triangle pose in the vinyasa sequence as preparation for this shape.

Astavakrasana
- He took us hear from sitting
- We did some seated hip openers
- And played with rocking up and over.

Galvasana
- We prepped with pigeon and then came into from standing

Then we moved towards Scorpian.
We did it standing up by taking dancer's pose with and without a strap.

Moved to wall and used block.
He emphasized the dropping and scooping up up the chest.
We did it on our forearms and on our hands.

Super Fun.

Legs up wall for relief with a bolster under hips (block length away from wall).
Resting Baddha Konasana with legs on the bolster.


Sunday Recap
It was a super hot day and the workshop was from 1 to 4. Jason is such a pro. He managed to lead us through a three hour sequence without giving into our lethargy.

I think I got the most out of this day's work. And it has been the easiest for me to incorporate into the direction I was already heading. I have not pulled the chairs out yet. I need to play more with them on my own before I would feel comfortable trying to share.

We started with Calf Torture Pose.
Placing a tightly rolled up sticky mat behind the knees and sitting on your heals.

Down Dog with emphasis on pressing from the top of the calf muscles towards the heals.
I loved this instruction and have been riffing off it.
Arch Torture Pose
Sitting with the top of one foot pressing into the arch of the bottom foot. Wow!

Down Dog with emphasis on spreading the ball of the foot.
Toe Torture Pose
Sitting on heals with toes tucked under.

From here we moved into his usual lunge pattern.
But he added utkatasana with calf work.

We took Uttanasana with a strap under the feet to wake up the outer arch and external hip rotation connection.

In all the standing postures, the arch and calf were emphasized. Today we did twisting postures. Revolving Side Angle, Revolving Triangle and Revolving Ardha Chandrasana.

I feel like there was a peak pose, but I am not remembering it. In fact the heat, etc really rendered me useless that day.

The work in the calf continued towards sitting postures.

Baddha Konasana with Mat rolled up and placed in between sitbones to encourage mulabandha. We did a variation on kechari mudra. I had never experienced the bitter taste after releasing that mudra before.

Really nice Side Anlgle Pose Instruction.

Long Savasana

1 comment:

Kai said...

I remember that towards the end we moved towards eka pada sirsasana and yoganidrasana, via happy baby pose and leg behind the shoulder.

not sure if I'd call that the peak pose because it didn't seem to me that there was a single peak in sunday's session.