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Building up the strength

for more backbending...

rain 28 °C

The past couple of days have been pretty blissful, and hard work. The rain has been pouring down hard in the afternoons and I've spent happy hours curled up with books listening to it beating down on the roof under a pewter sky. When you are completely clear headed and you also don't have the annoying nusicance of work to go to its amazing what you can work through. I read 'A Thousand Little Pieces' by James Frey within 2 days. What an amazing book. Its a tale of alcohol and drug addiction by some guy that spent a long time in rehab and totally rejected the principles of AA and its brilliant, so darkly funny. And there was a recommendation by Brett Easton Ellis on the front cover and so that sold it for me (when it comes to alcohol abuse that man knew his stuff God rest his soul)... I also read 'Like Water for Chocolate' in about 3 hours yesterday which was a great read too. And for study I'm still working through Maehle.

I've also started to sleep all the way through the night which hasn't happened for a good six months. Usually I wake up restless with too many thoughts and I end up wandering around, reading etc and not sleeping enough but childlike deep sleep is back. Nice. After getting up at 5 I normally go back to bed for a couple of hours after breakfast. This isn't just to sleep, its because I often feel slightly traumatized by the deep adjustments. I'm not in pain or injured, its just I've never gone so deeply into postures before. Basically everyone gets adjusted in Baddha Konasana till they start to whimper a bit after feeling like a pressed flower. And the twists are challenging. My knee was ok to go into Marichyasana D today and Ajay got me much further into it after I'd got into it comfortably alone. Then as he walked off he said "Tomorrow I'll show you another way. Then you'll stay there forver. I tell you". And I got this little cartoon image in my head of being in Hell, in a Yoga studio in the midst of acrid sulphurous flames with Satan himself shouting "And now- Marichyasana D- and we are going to stay here for ALL ETERNITY RA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!....." Still, its all progress. And I'm doing lots of variations with backbending working towards drop backs again, utilizing blocks and the stairs to work up. Ajay pointed out that I was losing the space and lightness in the top half and the strength in the thighs. The sthira and sukha, strength and softness goes through different stages in backbending and you have to be focussed all the way through. In fact thats true of Ashtanga generally- if you can focus completely on what you are doing and get on with the multitasking of it in the precise moment of execution then I think 85% of the work is done, and being flexible and strong is just a detail.

So the past three practices have been hard, but I continue to learn and grow. And I'm making a lot of notes too, writing a lot. I haven't ventured out beyond the neighbourhood much although I went for a long walk in the rain yesterday afternoon, conscious that I'm not doing as much cardiovascular exercise as normal, I think a long walk every day along with the practice will suffice. I also had a really nice long breakfast in the Mahesh yesterday, set dosas, and then Chiara showed up and we ended up having the most wicked conversation for an hour or so. This is one thing I really love about this place, it happened last year too: meeting women the same age as me who also to an extent have rejected the whole nuclear family ideal because the world is just so big and so exciting they've taken off instead. Some people call it escapism, but I don't think so. Different things bring happiness to different people. For some its a family and a car. And for some its having someone lie on top of you whilst in Pascimatanasana. In a little room in India with wooden beams while the rain plays sweet music on the roof...

Posted by victoria8 21:25 Archived in India Tagged women

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