I am quivering. That is to say, a good deal of the muscles in my body are still quivering from an exceedingly vigorous rendition of the first half of the Ashtanga 2nd series. More importantly, right away David got down to some of the fundamental information that I was looking for from this workshop.
He began with a discussion of how working with the 2nd series requires you to deepen your relationship to the surya namaskar, to appreciate the fundamental standing postures that form the first part of the ashtanga sandwich, so to speak. He spoke of how you have to move beyond the stage that a friend of his called the “hungry asana eater.” This is what Kino was talking about when she said you have to make a shift from an athletic focus to a devotional one.
Anyway, this is where things get interesting in the Ashtanga experiment. For things do seem to get a pretty intense when you start working with 2nd series. David had us sit in virasana with a block between our thighs to engage inner thigh adduction, an inward rotation of the thighs that has to happen for many of the 2nd series poses, and proceeded to talk about Risk. How the intermediate series is risky. Physically risky with poses like kapotasana and karandavasana, and emotionally risky. Which I have noticed. I want to ask him how to ground and stay stable while learning this but he talked instead of developing an ok ness with the imbalance, that you have to let it in. Stability is where it is safe, but not necessarily a place of growth. He spoke of enjoying the imbalance, putting yourself out there with more precision, more awareness, more you… fully in it. “So that you’re ready for what happens when you lay it on the line.”