Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Night

Well, just a brief moment to check in here in cyberspace. I am pretty tired tonight. It has been a really full month so far. Right before Desiree's visit we had been in Oregon, then there was the workshop then right following Desiree's visit, Mom and Dad came into town, in the middle of their visit I went to Corpus Christi and then the week started and Mom and Dad extended their stay and so they left today. I added in subbing for Gioconda this week on top of my normal classes and on Friday I leave first thing in the morning to go to Oklahoma to teach. Wow.

So anyway, tonight I am just trying to decompress a bit after class and my Teacher Mentor Group before I go to bed. I had planned to teach a piece tonight about themes and UPA's but we got into discussion of sequencing and what does it really mean when something is a Level One pose. This came up because I was telling the group how in Light on Yoga Mr. Iyengar says that there are 13 poses that need to be mastered by beginners:

1. tadasana
2. vrksasana
3. utkatasana
4. trikonasana
5. parsvakonasana
6. parivritta trikonasana
7. parivritta parsvakonasana
8. Virabhadasana 1
9. Virachadrasana 2
10. Virabhdrasana 3
11. ardha chandrasana
12. parsvottanasana
13. prasarita paddottanasana

Now both the group this weekend and this evening both looked at that list and exclaimed, "But those are hard poses! I mean, how does parivritta trikonasana work as a beginning level pose?" (I thought it was fascinating how both groups said this very same thing.)

So we spent some time going over a possible sequence (as well as talking about variations on the theme of other possible sequences) of how you might introduce that pose to beginners.

So the real moral of the story is that that is not a list of "beginning-level poses" as much as it is a list of "peak poses" for Beginners. In some ways, it might be really helpful to look at the Level One Syllabus of Anusara Yoga in the same way. Not as a list of easy poses or poses that new people should be able to do right away but as those poses that Level One students are working on, growing into and learning how to approach safely and intelligently. We can see them as those poses that Level One students need to be able to do gain entrace to the Level 2 syllabus where a whole new set of postures become the peak poses. And so on.

So that was where the class went tongiht and our UPA/Theme building discussion will have to be tabled until next week. Time now, for bed.


NeoMystic said...

Ooh, I've been thinking about sequencing so much lately! I can totally see the validity of this list of poses for beginners. It is exactly the list of poses I've endeavored to teach beginners for years. Yes, revolved triangle is difficult, but what better way to learn how to stabilize while standing and safely twist and extend? It demands a solid foundation in the feet as well. Plus there's almost no way to open your chest and shoulders if your foundation and core aren't set and open. At least that is the case with *my* body.

Christina Sell said...

Cool, huh?