Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"The Only Way Out is In"

I'm getting my practice groove back, YAY!

This evening I had a solid, full Primary practice. Felt nice and strong... still had a snotty nose in forward bends, but I wasn't so out of breath and knackered like I was on Sunday. I got the hand-bind and the feet-bind in Supta Kurmasana, and also had 3 pretty amazing dropbacks (I was inspired by the picture of Susan's hangback in the Kino workshop photos on Facebook. Thanks for tweeting it, Mel!)

What's helped me focus is also thinking about keeping the energy focused internally. Part of this is coz I've been reading an interesting book by Anthony Carlisi, who also goes by the name of Prem... The Only Way Out Is In: A Modern Day Yogi's Commentary on the Synergy of Ashtanga Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra. He's been certified by Guruji, and he talks about the relationship between Ashtanga Yoga, Ayurveda and Tantra through his own life experiences. I'm halfway through the book only, but I've got to say it's a really fascinating read.

Only Way Out Is In: A Modern Day Yogi's Commentary on the Synergy of Ashtanga Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra

Granted, the picture on the cover is not the most inviting since it conjures up Hindu symbolism. I dunno, what is it?! I wouldn't have given it a second look if not for the good reviews it has, including recommendations by many established Ashtanga teachers in the intro.

The many typos and spelling errors in the book are slightly distracting (I spot these things and get annoyed by them)... and he has a habit of cracking silly little jokes along the way (again, something a good Editor could have fixed)... but I guess he's writing it like he's telling it to you in conversation. You just have to get past all the typos and wisecracks and see the content for what it is. It's definitely worth a read if you're looking for another take on Ashtanga yoga, beyond just the asana part of it.

His section on Ayurveda has made me interested in delving a little deeper into this... and I'm now researching other books on Ayurveda by Vasant Lad and Robert Svoboda. I am especially interested in the area of food and nutrition and how the types of food you eat affect your Vata/ Pitta/ Kapha make-up.

But... I have digressed. My whole point in the first place was that in reading Prem's section on Ashtanga Yoga, I was reminded today of how the bandhas keep your energy locked internally within you while you practice. Kinda like Diana Christinson's "Pull Through" video I posted a while ago, where she talks about a similar thing of drawing your energy inwards and keeping it compact. Today I made a conscious effort to apply this not just in jumpbacks, but throughout the practice... and I find this really makes a difference to how I feel during, and after the practice too.

Focusing especially on engaging Mula and Uddiyana Bandhas today also automatically made me go within my breath... everything else got tuned out. I wasn't thinking or fussing about anything else.

Today, I had a good practice. :)


  1. Good to hear you had a stong practice. I am going practice @ Diana Christinson's shala soon. I am in the middle of a move to southern California and moving my hubby into a condo. I'll practice with her from 5/8-14 and 5/20-26 - (going to Hawaii in between) then back to Austin to figure out what furniture to send to him after I see the condo! she also has a "pull through& jump back" workshop that first day I'm planning on practicing with her, and may attend that if my timing permits.

  2. Lilli! hi!

    Jaime, I clicked on the link to Susan and before I could even ooh and ahh over her (seriously, that hang back is many life times away for me), I looked at the woman in the background, slumped over and thought, "yeah, that's more like how I'd be". ha ha!!

    Glad you're finding so much inspiration!

  3. Wow Lilli! You must tell us how the practice goes... and also if you end up at that workshop. Moving to Southern California is so exciting! (How come you're going back to Austin to buy furniture? ...sorry if this is a forward question, but wouldn't it just be easier to get furniture from Southern Cali?) You have exciting travels ahead!

    Liz - HAHAHA! You're too funny. I didn't even notice the other people around her until you mentioned it. And er... lady, I've seen some practice videos of yours. If you're the lady slumped forward, the rest of us would just have given up and been in child's pose already. ;p

  4. If you click backwards one from the photo I like the one where Susan is like a backwards table-top - funniest thing to me is how everyone else is just slightly hanging back (more like how I do it). Love it!! (by the way Susan if you're reading...hi! Sorry for starting this susan-backbend-love-in!)
    Liz I hear you outed JG for cheating today?? if i ask nicely can i get a link for your blog? ;)

  5. Hi Jamie,
    I'm sending him furniture that we currently have, not buying furniture. LOL!! And I'm headed back to Austin, because I'm staying with the house until it sells. I know bummer. But, with him there in Irvine, I will probably try and spend more time there. He's been in Las Vegas since January and I've been flying to visit him every so often (thank god for Skype!) This is not a whirlwind move like your last move, which, I will say was very impressive on how quickly it was done.

  6. Mel - you're right! The pic before is good too. Actually, it's even better for people-watching the other people's hangbacks. HAHAHA. (DM'd you Liz's contact for her blog.)

    Lilli - DUHHHHHHH! Doh! Of course you're moving your furniture across. Just because we didn't move with ours doesn't mean that's what other people do too. It's good you're still in the same country and flying to meet him every now and again is possible. Kelly's a 12hr flight away. SIGH. All the best with your move! x

  7. ha ha!! Mel- I saw that photo too!! I busted out laughing. Susan is in this full on, gorgeous standing back bend and everyone else looks like it's taking a ton of effort just to slightly go back!!

    I sent you an email, Mel!


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