Sunita - February 29th 2020 - Restorative and Pranayama

Dheeraj called before class this morning, to learn how to use the halasana stool I am leaving here, so Karen gave him a quick lesson before we headed off to the institute for our final session - we had a very relaxing restorative class with Sunita to finish off our month here. I didn't sleep for long last night, uncharacteristically twitchy ahead of today's departure and the long journey home (this is the exact moment when I begin to regret taking the frugal option of a 2 hour lay-over in Abu Dhabi, in the middle of the night). As we sank into a series of supine postures, I told myself that today was a day off and I wasn't even going to try and remember the class for blogging - Sunita hersel

Abhijata - 27th February 2020 - Restorative and Pranayama

After yesterday's lack of confidence, woke up today feeling depressed and lacklustre and even seriously considered changing my flight to come home tonight. Gave myself a talking to and what a difference a good practice makes! I opted for backbends to lift my mood and realised that despite waking up feeling like an old croc, that actually my body is in a prime state to work on asana. As soon as I got going, I could feel how responsive everything has become after my intensive month of practice here. Go home early? are you kidding!! No, no, no! a couple more days of sunshine and yoga. 5 hours of practice on the terrace followed by a wonderful pranayama class with Abhi. Dheeraj arrived up to see

Abhijata - February 26th - Restorative

As the month of classes starts to draw to a close, the cumulative effects are showing in my body. Abhi's class began today with a looong uttanasana with elbows folded, creating more and more release to flow downwards and I was a little startled for the first time ever, to find my wrists brushing the floor! There followed a sequence of restorative poses with her usual mix of anecdotes from Guruji and Geetaji and experiential learning, where we were given the opportunity to feel each teaching point so that it was understood in our bodies as well as our minds. Sequence below. I'm ready now to go home. Travelling alone this trip, has given me plenty of time for reflection and I'm ready to pick u

Rajalaxmi - 25th February 2020 - Restorative and Pranayama

Beginning to get organised for home coming - gathering the lists of requests people have asked for from home - a chumbal here, a recording there, not to mention 6 bolsters - my suitcase is going to be full! (don't worry, not even I am going to try and fit 6 bolsters into a suitcase - Sudhir will sew them into a plane friendly package for me!). Still no arm sensor - Dheeraj (my ever-patient landlord) has been working persistently to get Mumbai customs to release it. Today it was looking promising, but they required my receipt of purchase, which of course does not exist as we in the UK are lucky enough to have a health service that provides such items completely free of charge to diabetics. Tr

Rajalaxmi - 24th February 2020 - Restorative and Pranayama

I thoroughly enjoyed my day off yesterday - had a luxuriously unpressurised practice on the terrace and an afternoon swimming at The Marriott with lots of other yogis, staying until the sun went down. Judy and I then headed off to Tien for supper - my first time there and I was delighted to be able to get wonderfully healthy juices and salads (hummus, avocado and olive) plus a nice big side of cooked spinach, a great place for yogis to go and eat. I was suprised to wake up this morning with 'Monday morning anxiety' which I haven't had for such a long time now and a little unusual given that I'm basically on holiday! In the last year or so I have managed to overcome this by drinking home made

Sunita - February 22nd 2020 - Groins opening

Picture courtesy of Caron Maso Murray Another beautiful class from Sunita this morning and perfect for those of us who were feeling a little ragged after a week of strenuous backbend classes. It is really interesting to witness how her teaching has evolved - the sequence was expertly put together and engaging, with some particularly effective adjustments for those of us with tight hips and groins. Once again we honed right in on some areas that I really need to work on. The work that I found especially effective was coming from upavista to half upavista / half marichyasana and then once the bone had descended into the socket, bringing the leg from marichyasana to baddha konasana followed by

Abhijata - February 21st 2020 - Backbends (again!)

Man I had a dreadful night's sleep last night! The mattress was great, but the lack of libre arm sensor for measuring blood sugars, is taking it's toll on my blood sugar control. Having only got to sleep at 1am, I was unceremoniously dragged from a deep, peaceful sleep state to wide awake sweating and trembling with a hypo, meaning I needed a fast acting sugar to bring my levels back into the safe zone. This involved getting up, and crunching on glucose tablets (obviously the last thing any sane person wants to do in the middle of the night, Yuk!) I had planned to get up for Abhi's 7.30am class but I could see now there wouldn't be enough time for sleeping, so turned off my alarm. However ju

Abhijata - 20th February 2020 - Backbends (and a little Navaz pranayama too)

Ah yes backbends are truly upon us, how lovely to have a backbend class every day. I spent the day in reflective mode - this month has felt like a personal programme tailored just to suit my needs. Each class has focussed in on something I need to work on; hips, groins, buttock suction, folding the legs into padmasana in sirsasana, building up the spinal / gluteal strength to drop back from tadasana to urdhva dhanurasana or ustrasana to kapotasana, alignment in inversions and how allowing one side to become dominant pushes the other side outward. Amazing! Every now and again I check my alignment, by taking a video to see the outward presentation and I was dismayed to see my sirsasana, after

Abhijata - 19th February 2020 - Backbends

A great start to the day with a backbends class taught by Abhi. Today the focus was on recognising and correcting imbalances in how we perform poses - the obvious ones like how we kick up into full arm balance but also less obvious, such as how the dominant side tends to pull the weaker side up in urdhva dhanurasana. We also looked closely at how we came OUT of things, which is just as important to observe and correct. This class was just right for what I needed, as my left side has begun to bulge out and the class helped me to understand what is causing this and showed me how to begin to correct it. We did TONS of preparation for tadasana drop backs and kapotasana and I was disappointed not

Rajalaxmi - February 18th - Backbends

The sliced banana and grapes suggested by our birdwatching guide worked! So the birds are coming onto the terrace, and a few have tentatively sipped the water, but still too timid to take a bath. During our first week here we took arm balances in class and the position of the knees on the upper arms, damaged the sensor I had put into my arm for blood sugar reading just the night before. The sensors should last two weeks each, so losing that one has left me short for my month long stay. They are not available locally, so I got my partner to send me one tracked delivery. The tracking worked fine in the UK, I can see it left for Dehli on 8th Feb, but not a dicky bird since it's arrival in Indi

Rajaxlaxmi - 17th February 2020 - Backbends

The temperature is really hotting up - forecast is 36 degrees and sunny for the whole week and suddenly the ceiling fans are required night and day - there is no Spring season as such between Winter and Summer, though of course it will get hotter still as it heads closer to Monsoon. We've had a busy few days, with an early start on Sunday morning for Gulnaz. As we sped along the highway just after sun up, the other carriageway was closed for the Pune Marathon. Every kilometre or so there were drummers, dancers or singers on a small stage to motivate the runners on their arduous journey. We had a bit of a philospher for a rickshaw driver, who took great delight in stating repeatedly and empha

Prashant & Sunita - February 14th & 15th 2020 - Pranayama and Inversions

Apologies for no blog post yesterday, there wasn't a great deal to write, so I thought I'd double up today - plus I had the very important business to attend to, of hanging fairy lights in my room to make it more cosy of an evening! Prashant's Pranayama did include a little 'doing' this week, there are a few impressions I came away with written below, from those times when I wasn't peacefully sleeping, mouth open, though hopefully neither dribbling nor snoring .... Saturday mornings are now Sunita's class (I have finally been given a timetable which shows exactly who is teaching when). This week she went for an inversion's class, which was challenging and informative. Honestly, it was really

Abhijata - 13th February 2020 - Padmasana

A quiet day practicing on the terrace, relishing the time and space to get deeper into things. Although I'm feeling a lot better, I'm still finding that going up into full arm balance, instantly causes prickles of sweat to appear on my forehead. Abhi's evening class focussed on padmasana and repeated a lot of the work that I had done in my own time today.Towards the end of the class I was elated to fold my legs into padmasana in sirsasana for the very first time. Abhi assisted me into my first side and then I was able to get into the second side independently. Hurrah! I spotted Caren observing the class and thought that she would take notes so that I didn't need to remember the sequence, but

Abhijata - 12th February 2020 - Forward Bends and Twists

Woke up still feeling ropey and a bit hot, but not a fever , so plodded off to class for 'kill or cure'. I felt exactly on the borderline of needing to do a special sequence - too well to be confined to supine group but perhaps not quite well enough for multiple full arm balances. Opted for sticking with the class and hoping for the best. The subject reminded me a little of a class I did with Guruji and Abhijata back in 2013 - this method of super- concave bottom back rib is the correct way of working for Diabetes (which I have). It's hard work and we had to "Lift UP until the back muscles begin to CRY!!". In the long sirsasana, my tshirt was wet and sweat was falling into my eyes (only ever

Rajalaxmi - Seated leg work - 11th February 2020

Yesterday Abhi asked me how I remember so much of the class when I'm writing the blog. Now today my brain got stage fright and can't remember half of it! Actually this evening I feel that I'm getting a temperature, but don't have a thermometer so not sure. I'm not otherwise ill, so just ignoring it and hope it fizzles away into nothing, but perhaps my brain is not in top form. The message went out today, that we were all invited to a free practice session this afternoon at 3pm, where a recording of a Geetaji class would be played for us to do together. However we had already fixed up for a friend of Ulpa's who is a massuese, to come to the apartment and give each of us a Thai massage and it

Rajalaxmi - 10th February 2020 - Forward Extensions

A good day off of classes on Sunday, Caren and I went exploring and when we grew weary stopped for some respite at the Mariott Hotel cafe, where - oh joy! - I was able to get an almond milk hot chocolate (friends and family will know how this made my day!). We walked the back route up to the Marriott where we founds pigs snuffling around and a game of cricket which we were enthusiastically beckoned to join in with! Lots of people out on the streets and lots of friendly interactions. I continued to help in the medical classes today - it's going to be a long time before I get a handle on how things are done here, but I'll just keep sticking with it. It's hard to feel you are a burden to the ve

Sunita - February 8th 2020 - Headaches

This one is for you, Naomi! The coolest day I've ever known in Pune, overcast and fresh. We sat expectantly wondering who would come in to teach the women's class and today it was the turn of Sunita. Slight internal tremor of the "Ok we're really in for it now" variety. Well I couldn't have been more wrong! Her overriding concern was for a student that had arrived with a chronic headache problem (chronic in the sense that she has had a headache for around 2 years) and the whole class was geared around that and teaching us how to help this problem. Abhi's niece came up to see what was going on, first of all sitting on the steps just watching and then gradually getting bolder and bolder, until

Prashant - 7th February 2020 - Pranayama

Many of you that have pets at home, will have observed that they get drawn by certain asanas. My cat particularly gets excited when I go up into full arm balance, she comes over and purrs like crazy, zigzagging in and out of my arms. In Pune there are always Black Kites circling above and I found today, when I was doing a padmasana chair sarvangasana on the rooftop, that they came closer and closer, whirling and twirling around each other in the sky directly above me. It was a lovely moment. In the bird gallery today are an oriental magpie robin, a little green bee eater and a green parakeet. I again assisted in the medical and Abhi organised a teaching group. I was in the back pain group an

Abhi - February 6th 2020 - Standing Poses

Yesterday Lynda sent me a video from Goa all about the different birds in the region and I found that as I tried to commit to memory all the different distinguishing features and calls I was soothed into a peaceful and restful sleep. Sadly I was awoken at about 5.30am, only 5 hours after I had so optimistically dropped off. However, I found that the film worked a second time and unusually for me, I was able to fall asleep again until a more decent hour - finally some of the jet-lag fuelled exhaustion is subsiding. I woke up feeling good from yesterday's excellent class. Morning practice on the terrace in the sunshine and I kept a close eye on all the visiting birds, spotting a drongo (distin

Abhi - February 5th 2020 - Hip Rotation

The day started with pranayama at sunrise on the terrace as the birds and the city clattered to life all around me. The air is a little on the chilly side first thing, as it is 'winter' here and Joney had his woolly hat on as he sat on the wall selling his wares. Morning class for me today with Abhijata and it was, as usual, brilliant. We started with a lecture for the newcomers - don't answer the door to strangers, don't feed the stray dogs etc Then we moved into different ways of performing tadasana; supine, prone, lying on the side body and then repeating tadasana to see how it had improved. We explored links between different poses - ardha uttanasana and urdhva prasarita padasana and how

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