all will follow...
15.10.2009 30 °C
I had the most amazing massage 2 nights ago, from Lekhan. He is a guy who teaches Ayurvedic massage here and a very skilled and intuitive masseur. I was bitching about my knee but after looking at it he ascertained there was no damage in the knee joint, but more a collection of tension further up, mid thigh. Maybe the very last vestiges of the hamstring thing I had a year and a half ago. Anyway, he concluded I needed a hip/thigh deep massage to release it. So I had an hour of hot stones and intense pain/pleasure, and he advised me to totally avoid half lotus for a few days, even though its not hurting, just to let the tissue rest. Its frustrating though because I'm here partly to be doing a lot of practice and last time I came to India I had a horrible hamstring thing- I'd strained it at the insertion point whilst kickboxing and so there was a lot i struggled with last year. The good thing that came out of it was that my left hand side got a chance to come into its own rather than being bullied by my uber supple right hand side. And things that involved twisting got a lot more attention as the forward bends I used to find so effortless were off limits for a while. And now I've worked through and over that injury, my forward bends are deeper than they ever were before, and do what they are supposed to do whereas previously they were almost 'superficial'. Its the opposite now, but I think I'll be ok to do more stuff using the knees in a week or so again. Its a holiday this weekend so I'm just going to rest it. I remember Marc Woolford saying in a Yoga class in Brighton a couple of years ago that injuries were 'great' and I remember thinking "Weirdo" (sorry Marc!) but now I really see what he meant. As they challenge all parts of your practice, not just the physical. You have to slow down and think about what you are doing and lighten up your approach to whatever it is you are trying to achieve.
Its Divali on Monday and a Moon Day Sunday so we have 3 days off with the option of practicing Monday if we want to. I went to the Big Bazaar last night to go buy milk and water supplies and there was a man with a microphone reading all the Divali specials- it was like "YES Dear Customers, we have 2 for 1 on all Pista rich tea biscuits, and YES Dear customers, family sized crisps at Good Price for the Holiday, YES Dear customers" etc etc.... And when you're in Big Bazaar, if you're a Western fair-ish woman, its important to stay away from the Cosmetics counters because you get all these teenage assistants following you around going "Madam I have something that can help you with your skin problems" whilst staring gravely at your face... And then try and sell you a tub of bleach for your freckles! Eilis told me one of them once said to her "Oh No Madam you have had a terrible allergic reaction to the Sun!!!". And so she ran to the mirror... only to find...yup.. freckles.. I guess its a Celtic thing. I wouldn't mind, but my skins pretty good, with barely any freckles. Anyway, the Big Bazaar was like Safeway on a Christmas eve and I wished I'd gone another day.
Practice this morning was good, I skipped all half lotus asanas and Ajay has got me doing more backbends, basically using the breath far more to come up than I was previously. I used to panic and lose it. But I was going up and down the wall like Spiderman. I had a moment where I felt like I was going to pass out and then he went 'Good. Just twice more.' So I forced myself and it got easier. He does exercises with you where you retain the inhale as you go up steps, and the energy seems to circulate more freely in the upper mid section. Also I have become awre that sometimes I need to modify my breathing so it is more concentrated around the ribs rather than sending it all the way down. I have the opposite problem to a lot of people in that sometimes I breathe too much- years of singing in the choir at school started that habit I think. Anyway today was quite intense. We had a collection afterwards to get some fireworks for Divali on Monday, we're going to have a party at Sthalam8 and get dressed up! Should be good, I'm going to town with Claire this afternoon to buy glittery bindhis and ribbons from the market. And Mysore Pak from Guru Sweets And we're going to have something to eat in town, get out of Laksmipuram for a change.
Its warm again today but continues to rain at night. Glad I had the foresight to bring torches as the Power cuts have been pretty frequent too.