Back from Oxford. “Happy breathing!” Spent four hours practicing with Richard Adamo. Richard is a British Wheel of Yoga teacher trainer. He introduced his Astanga class by justifying the “speed” test he was going to submit us to. We then did one hour fast practice with Astanga primary series. No relaxation, half an hour pause and back to it.
We focused on Navasana (the boat). With a round back which was a very helpful alternative to bring the legs higher and work on the abdominals. Usually, when you start Yoga you stretch you back and take your chest out to lift yourself up. Here you try to absorb your navel back stretching your arms forward and lifting your legs with the strength of the abdomen.
We practiced balancing forward on the wrists, keeping the legs straight a few cm behind the hands, to prepare to lift the legs into handstand
or to jump back into chaturanga.
Richard also had a chat (slightly too long though very relevant) about the joy we should feel practicing, forgetting about the worries one usually has about not “performing” in one or the other posture.
Once again, Yoga is not a performance, it’s a life experience. It is enjoyable.