Tuesday 14th August 2007
On the mat
My son was able to make a CD out of Sharath’s DVD so I picked it up from him last night and set my alarm for 6am this morning with great anticipation.
It wasn’t hard to get out of bed and onto the mat with the promise of this new toy to play with. And I wasn’t disappointed. Yes it was fast, but since my natural breath is long and deep, I moved through the sun salutes and standing poses fairly smoothly, only taking 3 breaths in each pose. If I’d breathed along with Sharath’s count I would have hyperventilated.
Unfortunatly, the practice was cut very short because of my little dog. Instead of curling back up on the bed while I did my yoga, she got frisky and naughty and insisted on dropping her toys on the mat by my feet as I practised. I kicked them off the mat. I kicked HER off the mat (gently). Then she started barking somewhere in the other room which, at 6.30am, doesn’t help build good relations with the tenants upstairs and next door. Then she plonked herself down in the middle of the mat. So by the end of the standing poses I gave in and gave up and took her for a walk. Oh well, first practice with Sharath foiled, but there'll be plenty more.
Next weekend I'll hijack someone’s TV and watch the DVD. It will help me to connect Sharath's instructions to his movements and give me inspiration plus.
The “Ashtanga” class last Wednesday night was fun (note the “…”) so I”ll probably go again tomorrow night. It's held in a school gymnasium at 6pm on a Wednesday night, a surprisingly warm space for the middle of winter.
Basically the class is like a led primary series bootcamp class, unpretentious and purely a workout – it was all over in 70 minutes. No chanting, no Sanskrit, no counting. A simple physical slog which the guys really enjoy and I'm not ashamed to admit that I really enjoyed it too.
Yoga is a spiritual practice but there are times when a girl's just gotta take time out and have some fun.
Practice starts slowly with 5 As and 3Bs and we were even given compassionate pauses of 2 breaths between each round. That would normally annoy me, but since I’m slightly out of yoga shape and the teacher insists on double dipping, I was happy to comply.
(Double dipping is where you jump back into Chaturanga Dandasana (catvari), inhale to Upward Dog then EXHALE BACK TO CHATURANGA DANDASANA before the “inhale exhale to Downward Dog command).
The novelty of this additionally gruelling move wore off and got pretty challenging about halfway through the seated poses but by that time, the class of seven had broken up into a ragged bunch, with five of them stealing rests between poses and chatting casually between themselves, while two of us (me and the guy next to me) forged ahead independently to the finish line in our own time. I discarded the double dips when my arm strength started to fail and sloppy shoulders set in. With no cartilage in that right shoulder joint I have to be sensible and avoid excessive shoulder stress while rebuilding my practice.
And since I was able to breeze through all of Primary quite easily (with only a couple of modifications), my confidence is restored. All has not been lost. All is on the horizon. All is coming.
All is already here. All is everywhere.
From the mundane to the mystical.