Ashtanga 101: When is it time to start a new series? And how do you do it?
A question that I hear a lot is, how do I know if it’s time to start a new series? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when (or how) to move onto a new series. It would be best to ask a teacher who you’ve worked with personally and who knows your practice, but I can share some of the things I take into consideration when I introduce a student to a new series.
A relevant starting point when you’re wondering about this is Patanjali’s yoga sutra 2.46 – sthira-sukham asanam, most commonly translated to mean that posture (asana) [should be] stable (sthira) and comfortable (sukha).
Sthira is the ability to “hold steady” in an asana, not only in the body but in your mind and in your energy – all three of these things need to be in balance for an asana to be considered steady. Muscles would be evenly engaged, you wouldn’t be losing your...
Mayurasana is part of the challenging arm balancing section of second series. Intermediate series has periodic checks for lightness - maybe thats why so many of the poses are named after birds!
Watch the video for some of my tips on Mayurasana. There aren't any shortcuts for this pose, you have to do the work. But hopefully some of these cues will resonate with you.
The more I teach the more I realize the importance of finding where each person's body can balance the best.
The body is divided into front and back AND left and right. The midline, or central axis runs down our body, it is commonly thought of as the spine. I believe that in our yoga practice we can feel the midline all the way from our arches to the crown of our heads. Or - we want to be able to feel it so that we can move from it!
The midline will change depending on what we are doing. If we are able to find and hug the midline in various yoga asanas we will find stability, strength, and ultimately balance.
I love the visualization of a rolling pin rolling you down from a seated position to a lying position. Give it a try at home and feel the deep core engagement as well as the spinal articulation.
Now - try to use these same principles but turned around - in ubhya padangusthasana and other poses at the end of primary.