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Friday's Practice

Resetting the boundaries and shifting the goal posts

sunny 30 °C

Again its really hot today and there was a power cut for 4 hours this afternoon so the fan didn't work and I lay around for a bit feeling like Oscar the Grouch. This was not helped by the fact that someone had locked me in to my flat when I tried to go out to buy water. Yes, because all the doors here have bolts on both sides and some cleaner locked it automatically. So I screamed and yelled and swore and kicked the door really really hard until a lady in the house below heard me and sent her daughter Lakshmi up to rescue me. She was really nice and I was all red in the face and stressed out... I went and got a cold drink and regained my composure gradually.

Practice this morning was intense. Despite the slightly gippy knee I got into kurmasana without too much difficulty (!) and Ajay did his trademark adjustment when I was in baddha konasana and its starting to get deeper and deeper very quickly. Its like a magical pulling together of the groundwork thats been done and I'm having to constantly refine, refine and iron out bad habits over and over again. And its great having someone there who has no qualms about going 'Come on you're being lazy, do you want to progress or not?' as there are things I skirt around because they're hard or uncomfortable, and you always want to keep repeating what you enjoy and finding excuses not to approach the rest but keep it as an abstract idea, something you'll get round to some day. Oh how the practice of Yoga is symbolic of life generally!!! Yeah yeah I'll get round to doing supta kurmasana like I'll get round to having a mortgage- I mean, I can see the benefits of both but they're not without stress and pain... Still, I feel like I've progressed more in the past week than I have in the past six months. When you are with a teacher who just tells you to do something you would normally be scared to, the fact that they take the possibility of it for granted means that its not so scary and you explore all the postures you thought you would never do and feel the new locks, new fireworks exploding within you- your body re-aligns and your mind follows. I also think the heat has a lot to do with it though, as you do feel a lot more bendy when you are constantly warm. And its a natural heat, from the weather, and from the internal heat you create. If you do an intense Ashtanga practice you sweat so much that there is really no need for the whole Bikram hot yoga stylee class with the artificially heated rooms. I've never been a fan of that, there's something slightly scary about it. And it removes the feeling of creating your own fire. Its also, I think, a creepy desire to be back in the womb, being in a completely sweaty and cloying space. Or maybe I'm just a Northerner who approves of the cold...

Its Saturday tomorrow which is rest day- no class. Its important to take this seriously and let your body recover one day a week. And it also means you can eat a big fat meal late at night! So Eilis invited me round to her house for supper and to be an Ayurvedic massage guinea pig as her and her daughter Isis have been studying with a local guy here. So I went around with some Soan Papdi and took my Tarot cards so we did a swap. isis gave me the best head and shoulder massage with coconut oil so I smelled like a bounty bar for hours afterwards but my shoulders and neck had eased off, I carry a lot of tension in my shoulders. They had made some lovely food and we had different salads, ratatouille, omelettes and chapatis and sat around talking for ages. Theres a girl called Dorothea here who highly recommends this local astrologer who does readings for 200 INR. She said he was really spot on accurate so I'm going to get a reading soon because I just cannot resist. I'll be a bit more moderate than last year, when I think every astrologer in India endured having to hear about my problems... In fact, I remember asking one guy about my love life and his advice was 'Get a dog, Madam'... Thinking about it I perhaps should have taken that advice... Anyway that'll keep me out of trouble for an hour or two. Then I've got an article to work on for my website. It amazes me with all the stuff I find to do, that just a few weeks ago I was fitting in a full-time job as well. No wonder I've been having so many naps.

Claire's moved in in the flat next door to me so I have a nice new neighbour and she's coming round for chai and the Yin Yoga sequence tomorrow night- to counteract all the 'sthira' effect of Ashtanga, an hour and a half of cool static asana, with some sitali breathing exercises to calm everything down. Its good having a neighbour, sometimes when I'm on my own I get freaked out by the noises. As well as all the usual noises of the Mysore evening- traffic, rickshaws, music, people shouting, dogs howling, and my rattly fan, theres this really horrible sweepy 'dragging' sound that I hear and I don't know what it is but when its dark my imagination goes into overdrive...

Posted by victoria8 21:23 Archived in India Tagged women

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