III.15: Krama anyatvam parinama anyatve hetuh. Successive sequential changes cause the distinctive changes in the consciousness. –Light on Yoga Sutras (LOYS)
In this session we applied and observed how the succession (krama) and sequence (krama) from different asanas transformed (parinama) Utthita Trikonasana. We went through a series of standing to Trikonasana, Sirsasana to Trikonasana, seated to Trikonasana, twisting and backarches, all punctuated by Utthita Trikonasana. Whatever asana came before gave a different access to the body and conditioned that Trikonasana. Prashant explained that we generally think of sequencing a complete series of poses from one point to another. Rarely, he said, do we practice to see how the application of the unique dynamics that are characteristic in any one asana will educate and condition the body/mind (embodiment). “Practice based on your sensitivity, not what you know or your abilities. See what is proper, what is correct and what is right. The proper will be the right, so do not assume or impose, rather develop the access, the qualification and the perception.”
For example, after Bhardvajasana we went into Trikonasana. I found that the expression in the shoulders, shoulder blades and lungs that blossomed in Bhardvajasana was then featured in Utthita Trikonasana. Had the sequence after Bharadvajasana proceeded with other twists or forward extensions, I would not have gone as deeply into the potential and capacity of the shoulder blades and lungs in Trikonasana. The transformation “Parinama” of Utthita Trikonasana came through the succession of sequence “krama,” hence, Parinama Krama. So rather than a sequence leading towards a particular asana or focused around a category of asanas, the sequence can take one asana and “apply” other asanas to it, “apply” the conditions and capacities that another asana gives to the main one. In this case, Utthita Trikonasana.
III.15: Krama anyatvam parinama anyatve hetuh. Successive sequential changes cause the distinctive changes in the consciousness. -LOYS
- Utthita Parsvakonasana
- Uthtita Parsvakonasna to Utthita Trikonasana
- Padmasana or Swastikasana, and then into Trikonasana
Prashant guided us to observe if the connection between these two sharpened our perception of the legs, or the spine, or the spine to the legs, or the legs to the breath, etc. He encouraged us to go slow, to come in and out of the pose at will and to repeat on the same side. “Parinama kriya”, the acts will create “Parinama krama” changes.
“Develop discretion; see when the proper is right. Observe the succession of changes, the first hierarchy is biomechanical, then the breath, the exhalation and the inhalation.”
It was a different experience when the exploration of the “what” and the “for what” or “for whom” became my own discovery. How the legs affected the spine which then affected the lungs which then impacted the breath. I had to stay receptive to not “impose” my learned order of what to do for my hips, etc. He did say that we may not want to practice like this all the time, but that we should go deeper into the subject rather than always depending on what the teacher says.
“Identify changes that come because of the sermon that comes from within, go slow, and watch the changes and relationship with what came before, the ‘parinama krama’ of Padmasana to Utthita Trikonasana is different. You have to practice to develop sagacity.”
Brick Setubandha krama to Utthita Trikonasana:
- Krama parinamatvam: in brick setubandha, what did you open? Practice to build sensitivity, go until you feel the seal open up to you. How does the tailbone move?
- Brick Setubandha to Utthita Trikonasana
“How has the access given to you from the brick affected Trikonasana? With the brick at the tailbone or sacrum, what happened inside? What seal was opened here that is different than in Parsvakonasana? This is a social event within, take the climate and health conditions into account. At some stage of your pursuit Vayu Askasha will open.”
“The Parinama will be affected by psychodynamics as well; I want to learn, I want to study, I want to comprehend” he explained.
On a personal note, I took three months away from teaching this last summer. I surprised to see how long it took before my inner dialog in practice was completely present and no longer automatically focused on how I might describe an action while teaching. I wanted to take time off to study. Generally, as I teach often, even though I may practice my syllabus or something I want to work on, I find that there is always an inner dialog that translates what I am doing into what to do or how to do it. For that is what I have to do as a teacher, translate my direct experience into a form that will be accessible to my students. The inner teacher was so acclimated to figuring out how to present material to students that that inner voice had become a tyrant, always on. Over a period of time this changed, I began to hold asanas longer and be present simply for myself and within myself. Prashant often lectures us on how we are always doing, we are rarely done and never reflect on the Doer.
“The enormous launching points in the psyche and what came before all effect the changes. This is how you get profundity and maturity.”
- Bharadvajasana to Utthita Trikonasana
- Sirsasana with Padmasana or drop back
“Consider how each pose effects and or creates a learning foundation for any particular asana. “Each asana is a marvel; we have to look at it like a yoga asana and not like a physical culture.” Different permutations and combinations make different results.”
Prashantji’s tea analogy is now famous, and effective every time I hear it. Good tea is the combination of the right amount of hot water, tea leaves, milk and sugar. If you have too many tea leaves or leave the leaves to steep too long, the tea become bitter. If you have a lot of milk and only a little tea and a lot of sugar, the milk tea is something else, sugar and milk. So it takes the proper amounts and combinations to make good tea.
Different succession of changes will create different manifestations. And the changes happen moment to moment. First we may find that we are dull, the tamo guna predominates. Or, we may be restless, stressed, and unable to focus. The gunas play a big part in transformation. “Tamas gives density and mass, and when these qualities exceed our needs, we call it dullness and inertia. The negative aspect of rajas is turbulent, frenetic, and agitated. We want a quick mind, not an agitated one. We also want a calm, clear mind, which brings us to sattva… We use the word luminosity, which is the inner, serene qulity of light, to describe sattva. The interplay of these three guna forces is of crucial importance in your yoga practice.” -Light on Life
“Sometimes you feel dullness so you may want to “hit” the pose, quick treatment, and use raja guna to drive tamo guna. Go slow, for sattva guna you must let it evolve. This way the condition fades in and you come to know the characteristics and diagnostics, dorsal major, spine major, etc. Some will have a mindset, some a breathset, some will be more physical. This is not attentiveness, it is a comprehensive approach to the practice.