Saturday, June 28, 2008

Patricia Sullivan Day 2: Asana Practice

Patricia began with a big picture talk offering the possibility that we can change our internal landscape through the specific and deliberate absorption of the positive experiences. Using the analogy of our ability to "Set our System Preferences" in our computer, she suggested that we have the ability to rewire our "internal landscape" by becoming more practiced at enjoying ourselves and storing that happiness.  

Blending Sutra 1.12 with Tantric Buddhist  thought and her own experiences, she suggested "curiosity" and "rapture" as two other requirements for staying present and set the stage for the practice. Wanda was inspired to quote LL Cool J, "Persistence removes Resistance." When the question, "When does persistence become resistance?" was raised, Patricia responded with something like, "When there is not enough vairagya, or surrender."  

I loved the set up for her class. Because one of the way Patricia plays is to offer the key points of resistance within the posture to enhance and delay and open new and unexpected areas. This keeps you from just sliding into where its easy and familiar, possibly boring and overworked. This way of working breaks patterns.

Sutra 1.12 These thought patterns (vrittis) are mastered (nirodhah, regulated, coordinated, controlled, stilled, quieted) through practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya).

Sit together.

We had a few peeps in the workshop that were not there yesterday, so we did a little review of the actions of the sacrum with cat/cow.

Twisting Uttanasana with sacrum and leg play. Lots of emphasis on drawing the tailbone down.

From Dog, Rounding Knee to Forehead and Up and Back, playing with the delay of straightening the leg. The action of "drawing the front hip bones together" has never been available to me. But all the belly work that we have been doing has made it clear. There is a spontaneous uddiyana bandha that occurs. Particularly the one where the middle section of the belly is relaxed forward. I forget the name of that action.

Lunge with a lot of foreword movement in tailbone and pressing of back foot down.
Creating the arch in the front spine like the Dancer.

Cobra with partners acting as "squeezer" on legs so you could press "out". This created tremendous space in the low back and hips. Instead of just flopping into childs, work the active rounding towards child's pose.

We also worked a very cool back release by resisting the drawing in of the knees into the chest. The action created a work in the front hip flexors that created a release. Tucker noticed this and then it allowed me to notice that it helped soften that gnarly front hip nerve pain that can get in the way of apanasana.

We worked the shoulders in very cool ways to set up for pincha mayurasana. She had us lay on the floor with a block between our legs, our arms extended from our shoulders and either blankets or blocks on the hands. The play was to twist and allow extended arm to "cactus" and roll up. This was super cool and allowed all sorts of magical understanding in the shoulder blades. Hopefully we have a picture of it for me to post.

Then we did the block between the hands thing. Wanda's particular shoulders allowed for an amazing exploration deep in the scapula. Patricia leaves so much space to work 1:1 with the peeps and allows the rest of us to gather and learn. I have learned so much from about teaching.

We combined the pressing out of the legs in cobra with the "knitting of the ribs" from bridge yesterday into camel today.

Rounding forward folds. Janu Sirsasana has come back into my life this workshop. I am so grateful.



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