back to alignment

it’s been quiet, i know, in this blog for awhile. there are a few reasons for the lack of posts–overall, covidtide was not particularly fertile time for me as a blogger. in addition, i was busy with a number of creative, pedagogical, and writing tasks that took me away from blogging toward the work of getting an installation done for the taipei biennial, teaching remotely, and going through editors’ comments

nonetheless, over the past few months, i have been developing again a nearly daily yoga practice

as some of you know, i’ve been practicing ashtanga yoga for awhile; however, when a shoulder injury made vinyasa somewhat undesirable, i had to reset my practice. so, i turned to the kind of yoga with which i began, iyengar yoga

in a sense, it’s what one might expect. although i am pleased to see a variety of different styles of yoga proliferate in and around boston, including hip hop yoga and aerial flow yoga, have visited classes in these, and found them loads of fun; when my body / mind tells me that i need to reset, i always head back to the discipline of iyengar yoga: its stress on alignment, setting a good foundation, minding throughout the body from the core to the fingertips, and poses held long durations or repeatedly to explore what the poses do under different conditions. it’s also nice, sometimes, to use props to augment the poses enough to feel subtle differences in alignment

and yes–although yoga teachers can see the mysore / ashtanga in my expression of asana (and comment on it), iyengar was how i started practicing yoga nearly 30 years ago. it’s a home space in which i find there’s still so much room for exploration!

nonetheless, i’ve never worked systematically through iyengar’s _light on yoga_. i have a copy which i’ve used for reference and have read _light on life_, but never did the courses listed in the appendix to _light on yoga_

when i turned to the courses, i could see why i don’t know anyone who has worked through them systematically (if you have, please let me know!): to do so would take more than five years! it’s not exactly a covidtide project

still, i thought that maybe i should develop a daily practice in which i work through _light on yoga_, perhaps not keeping to the week by week letter of the introductory course, but doing the suggested poses a couple days at least and then finding the right balance between doing the poses for one or  two weeks and moving on. for me, that placed me relatively quickly in the poses suggested for week ten before i slowed down

for an ashtangi, the order of poses feels at times counter-intuitive; and i’ve added some finishing poses to iyengar’s lists (in particular, adding matyasana after karnapidasana and doing the regular lotus position finishing poses before going to savasana feels best for me). still, it’s been good to get back to basics and to think, along with _light on yoga_ a bit more about alignment

i’ll continue blogging on this practice as an ongoing stream of posts. feel free to comment and give suggestions on working with the iyengar book

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