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The Art Of Adjustment...

Ashtanga Vinyasa Ajay Kumar stylee........

all seasons in one day

I hardly know where to start here as its actually been a hugely busy week..... The course is really quite intense- 28 adjustments that I am supposed to have down pat by now and I am struggling despite repeated practice. Its like that expression 'Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did but in high heels and backwards.....'. Its kind of the same with Ashtanga adjustments. Every part of you, hands, elbows, knees, ankles, feet, hips etc has to be spot on perfect in order to get someone to fully experience the asana to their maximum potential... It really is an art and quite difficult. A lot like learning to drive, you have to be doing 10 things at once with the main priority being not to kill anyone.... Ajay can be quite hilarious sometimes. When asked how we would know if the strap was incorrectly placed between a man's thighs in a Down Dog adjustment he spluttered 'Are you kidding??? You'd know because he'd be DEAD man!!!'. He has huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm, and sometimes when he's teaching us- bearing in mind he's only 25 (!)- I can see exactly what he'll be like in 50 years as a grey haired sprightly old man barking orders at students! You forget he's 25, it must be his twentieth lifetime teaching Yoga....! And he wears a Kali Yantra on a black cord for psychic protection when teaching Yoga- you should never forget to protect yourself. Even the most well meaning of people can be carrying nasty infections on the astral...
Anyway, its like anything, learning a new skill is always hard to start with and although I'm pretty bright and can grasp new intellectual concepts swiftly, sometimes I struggle with more hands on logical things... So I keep reminding myself that I learned to get my head round mortgages for work last year (and I didn't even particularly want to know about them) so I'll get this too.... Just practice and practice...

Claire left yesterday, with Mette, to go to a Zen retreat. I was quite sad to lose such a good room mate. A really nice girl to talk to, and very very funny, a Leo. We had a party on our rooftop last Sunday evening as Monday was a new moon so no practice. For a Mysore party it was quite debauched. Because without wanting to make sweeping statements Mysore parties can be a little dull. A few lentil snacks, orange juice to drink and everyone leaving by 9pm... Not this one!!! We had a couple of guys from California come along, Robbie and Brian, who are brothers and one played the saxaphone which really made for that atmosphere and the other played the guitar. We had beer, we prepared sandwiches and samosas- Claire even handed them round like the hostess with the mostess... We wore pretty dresses, and when we ran out of beer, Alex, who's from Israel and can be a little, mmm, not exactly grumpy, but prickly, though he's a sweetheart, really got into the spirit of things and organized a beer run... So we sat up all night under a starlit sky. People of all ages, all backgrounds having a great time. It was one of those nights you don't forget... I had a pretty sore head the next day so went for a swim, at which point it started pissing it down with rain and didn't let up... The weathers been odd- quite cool for a few days but now its downright hot, humid and sweaty and lots of insect bites...... and just for the record- some of them really aren't put off by citronella oil....

I continue to read a lot of David Frawley. He's running a retreat near Rishikesh the 9th till the 14th of March- proper authentic Tantric teaching- I am quite determined to go. The only problem is my visa expires. So I have booked 12 days in Bangkok to get a new one in February after I have been to the ashram in Nasik. And then it occurred to me that I have been meaning to visit a dear friend in New Zealand for a long time now and it is not that far from Bangkok- so I'm going there for 2 weeks too! Yay! And all 3 air tickets cost so much less than they would have from the UK.... so the Ashtanga journey will be out of India for a little while... I've never particularly wanted to visit Thailand but I'll make the most of it and probably love it... And I'm a big fan of Thai food so its all good... I had a nightmare booking tickets online and ended up doing it over the phone. I had the most horrific PMT last week. Really bad. I thought it was just my negative samskaras surfacing with the Yoga practice but no, it was good old fashioned hormonal fury. I missed two practices because I was lying in bed in tears with existential angst wondering what IS the point, really... Then my period came, I felt a million times better, cheered up and realized how very lucky I am to have the leisure time to think about existential angst when I could be stuck in domestic hell.... And I was on 'ladies holiday' this weekend, so it was all about chocolates and magazines. If my plans come together I'll spend March in Rishikesh area and then probably return to the UK the beginning of April. Rishikesh is somewhere I want to return to. Sit outside the Madras cafe, bathe in the river- its not polluted around Rishikesh- and go do some Sivananda Yoga...

I'm feeling very happy and settled in Mysore. I have my little rituals- supermarket and fruit shopping in the morning after practice, rest and hot shower, set dosas for 18 rupees for breakfast in Mahesh Prasad- the best breakfast in the world... course all day, internet, bonda sambar for dinner in Mahesh, then I lie around in bed reading and eating cheikku fruit. I also found the house of the guy who makes the most divine banana bread and health foods like hoummous so I'm very well fed... Theres sweet shops everywhere and you often succumb to temptation but you rarely get home with them. Because these little kids come up to you with big eyes, smiling, and the sweets just leave your possession. Which is good. You're happy because you can still get in your jeans, the kid who gets the sweets is happy (this little boy actually screamed with excitement once) and you feel like a nice person too. Its easy to be generous here. Ajay says not to give the kids money- they never get to keep it and grow up begging. But sweets or fruits ok..

and a lot more stuff to write about too, but I'm feeling pretty hungry now and need to get to Mahesh for refuelling... Will continue asap.....

Posted by victoria8 05:19 Archived in India Tagged women

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