“I say it clearly as it is — to understand or not to understand, both are mistaken (views).”
Rinzai

The Teachings of Rinzai

Reading Asana – Alternating

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Let’s have a look a sequence that includes alternation between two sides – a simple upper raised leg posture:

This illustration says:

  • on inhale raise your arms
  • on exhale bring your arms forward and raise one leg up
  • on inhale bring raise your arms again and return the leg to the floor
  • repeat this 8 times alternating between the two legs (so each leg will be raised a total of 4 times, but alternating).
  • on the 9th exhale bring your arms back alongside your body

A shorthand, generic version of this illustration may be:

As we explored in the sequence explanation – it would be up to you to decide how to perform this sequence: (1) alternate between sides using the entire sequence – including a return to the starting position; (2) alternate just the legs and then come back to the starting position – as described above.

Finally, see if you can you tell the difference between the two illustrations above and this next illustration:

This illustration describes a sequence without alternation. Each leg is lowered and raised 4 times consecutively. So there is a total of 8 lifts but on each leg separately. This variation may be more physically challenging – because there is a longer consecutive effort for each leg.

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