Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Road Map to Urdhva Dhanurasana

Here's an excerpt from a great email I just received from a new Daily Yoga Tip reader, Peggy:
Other than all the good goals like better, healthier living etc. my "intention" is to someday achieve a totally unassisted backbend from a standing position -- something I have never been able to do. It's interesting that none of the videos nor the books I have give a "roadmap" such as first work on opening the shoulders, develop stronger abdominal muscles, do this, do that, and then try a backbend. Will I one day just be able to do a backbend?
Wow. Great question, Peggy.

Peggy brings to light a wonderful mystery. If I practice yoga, will I one day "just be able to" ______________? You fill in the blank.

You might want to bend over and touch your toes. Or, you might want to ride in the car pain-free. You might desire to balance on your head or sit in lotus position for meditation. You might want to look or feel younger.

The truth is, if you practice yoga, you might "just be able to" achieve your desire.

But, you might not.

What Peggy has done, however, is wise. She's started by declaring an intention. She wants to stand in mountain pose, tadasana, and drop over backwards into upward facing bow pose, urdhva dhanurasana.

And more, once she declared her intention, she started looking for a way to get from where she is to where she wants to be. She calls it a road map.

I call it a teaching progression.

When I train teachers, we spend a lot of time working on how to take people just as they are, build progessively over time by giving them experiences, and get them to where they want to be (or even to a place they don't know they want to be...yet).

Sequencing experiences, stringing together a series of small, intentional accomplishments that add up to an enormous breakthrough in performance, is an art. It's a skill that is honed by good teachers.

Want to accomplish something great? Declare an intention and find a guide. Find a great teacher who can give you a sequence to follow, a roadmap.

Peggy's right. A book can't do it. A DVD can't do it. They're not interactive enough. But a teacher can.

If you don't have a teacher, start looking today. Hopefully you'll pick one who teaches progressively, with intention and sequence.

If no teachers are available to you, don't stop practicing! But keep looking for your teacher. He or she is easiest to find when you've declared your intention to find a teacher.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., We're leaving early Friday morning, flying to Philadelphia. The Experience Sanskrit workshop is on the road again this Saturday morning (February 4th) at 9:00 am at the Twisted Guru in Downingtown, PA. It's a fun, four-hour workshop that makes learning and remembering the Sanskrit yoga pose names unforgettable. Register here. You get a 100+ page manual to use and keep.

After the Experience Paradise yoga vacation in Yelapa, Mexico we'll be on the road again doing the Experience Sanskrit workshop in Annapolis, Maryland on March 4th. On Sunday March 5th, we're staying over an extra day at the Golden Heart yoga studio in Annapolis for an Anusara-inspired asana workshop. Don't miss these great opportunities to deepen your practice of yoga. Register here.

p.p.s., Yelapa is calling you. Experience Paradise in sunny Yelapa Mexico. If you've enjoyed these Daily Yoga Tips, you'll really enjoy the live yoga training you'll receive from me and Sallie Keeney when we return to Yelapa February 18-25. Register here. Space is still available.

p.p.p.s., Imagine that! Several days ago I announced the Sanskrit word of the day is angustha, my favorite Sanskrit word. But I didn't tell you what it means, even though I promised I would.

And none of you wrote to rant about it!?! How kind of you. Angustha means 'big toe.' Padangusthasana has the word root angustha in it.

That's a pic of Rusty Wells doing padangusthasana. He's grabbing his big toes on the ends of his pada. (Pada means foot or leg.)

p.p.p.p.s., Today's Sanskrit word of the day is dhanu. It's a word root found in the name of the yoga pose that Daily Yoga Tip reader, Peggy, wants to do. I'll tell you next time what it means.

Copyright 2006.
All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.
Kevin Perry
Mo Yoga LLC
905 Eastland Plaza Suite B, #106
Jefferson City, MO 65101
(573) 680-6737


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