A bit of a late night last night, as I booked flights and accommodation to go down to Goa for the weekend towards the end of the month when the Institute is closed. Exciting. Played around with some of the work Abhi gave in class yesterday during my own practice. Jenny has got a stinking cold so is laying low and decided not to go to class this eve. Shrewd move as it would probably have killed her. Possibly the only time in history when I have been a little relieved to be ‘off games’. Now I love the unpredictability and speed of a jumping class and I especially enjoy the playful mental challenge of responding to a command to jump into an obscure or unexpected pose, where your mind has to work out what the pose is and how you are going to get from A to B, all at lightning fast speed.
4 Imaginary bricks for this practice
However this class was SO fast and SO challenging that even the observers left looking a bit shell-shocked, the note takers didn’t stand a chance as the poses came faster and faster. The pace continued relentlessly and many fell by the wayside – Raya said “If you have gone into early retirement, move to the back of the hall and make space for those who are continuing”. For those who have a very advanced and accomplished asana practice (and no health issues)- well this was their moment! and indeed although perhaps the majority couldn't do, there were a good number still standing.
It would be completely impossible for me to tell you the sequence (especially as I was neither participating in the main class nor observing and taking notes) but I’ve recorded a taste of what he taught below. For menstruating ladies he gave a single, one word command "Supine" and we worked together quietly on our own sequence.
At one point he stopped to talk about the hand balances and said that these poses are 95% skill and 5% strength (“If you asked me to lift a 100lb weight I probably couldn’t”) When Guruji was teaching the hand balances they had 4 months (of several classes per week ) where they weren’t allowed to lift up at all, they just concentrated on learning the arm and leg wrapping, no lifting up at all. He said “No offence to the Seniors, but if you want to learn the poses so that they are not just a muscular effort then study the pictures and video footage of Guruji (1975 Paris Practice for example) look at the picture (on wall) there is no muscular effort, he is beautifully quiet. Learn from observing Guruji”.
Our cook Sushila didn’t arrive at all today and we felt a bit concerned that something might be wrong, either way she has no means of contacting us, so we’ll just wait and see if she turns up tomorrow. It took us about 5 minutes to remember that we are in fact competent adults perfectly capable of cooking our own lunch!!
As we approach the midway point in our trip I am filled with that familiar feeling of simultaneously painfully missing my children and partner but at the same time wishing that I had limitless time to completely immerse myself in my yoga and destress from my very busy worklife. I can see that my face is beginning to brighten and the shadows are lessening as some of the tiredness falls away – I am coming back to life. Probably though the answer is a better work / life balance at home, so that I am not dodging between one extreme and the other. I set up my own business in September, finally running my own yoga studio and of course this is A LOT of work.
'Pune Traffic' Photo courtesy of Marie Kristensen.
Day 11 – Raya Jumpings and Hand Balances
•“Ladies in periods, supine”
•AMV – AMS – UTT – AMS – UTT- CHAT – UTT – CHAT – UTT -AMS – UTT - UTKAT – CHATURANGA – UTT – UTKAT - MALASANA – UTKAT – UH- UTT – AMS – RIGHT LEG ARDHA CHANDRASANA – AMS – LEFT LEG ARDHA CHANDRASANA – AMS – UMS – AMS – UMS – AMS - RL VIRA 1 – AMS – LL VIRA 1 – AMS – UTT – RL URDHVA PRASARITA EKA PAD – LL URD PRAS EKA PAD – LL VIRA 3 – RL VIRA 3 – MALASANA – NAVASANA – URDHVA PRASARITA PADASANA – NAVASANA – ARDHA NAVASANA – NAVASANA – ARDHA NAVASANA – UPP – DANDASANA – AMS – RL TRIKONASANA - AMS – LL TRIKONASANA – AMS – RL PARSVAK – AMS – LL PARSVAK – AMS – RL PARIV TRIK – AMS – LL PARIV TRIK – AMS – RL PARIV PARSVAK – AMS – LL PARIV PARSVAK – CHAT – AMS – DANDASANA –RL ON TOP LOLASANA – DAND – LL ON TOP LOLASANA – DAND – RL TOLASANA – DAND – LL TOLASANA – URDHVA DHANUSRASANA – PARYANKASANA – URDHVA DHANURASANA heels up, walk in – PARYANKASANA – PADMASANA MATSYASANA –URDHVA DHANURASANA – TADASANA dropping back and up again to URDHVA DHANURASANA X 6– SUPTA VIRASANA into KAPOTASANA buttock movement PUMP! - AMS – URDHVA DHANURASANA DROP BACKS X 3 UTTANA PADASANA
•UTT – AMS – PARSVOTT RL hands in namaskar - PRAS PAD 2 hands in namaskar – LL PARSVOTT don’t move hands from pasch nam as you change asanas, base of index fingers touch – PRAS PAD 2 – Come up extend arms out to the side, palms to ceiling, urd nam, open arms, palms down PRAS PAD 1
•AMS – MALASANA hold heels and extend down – DANDASANA jump to MALASANA by lifting with hands and quickly bringing legs / feet under you – DAND – MALAS – DAND – MALAS –lift thigh area be on hands LOLASANA both crosses – EKA HASTA BHUJASANA both sides – UTTANASANA – right leg forward BHUJAPIDASANA firmer leg on top, clasp yourself, squeeze like a lemon! Outer body come closer, inner body spread, both crosses – UTT put hands through legs to BHAKASANA fix right leg first, then swap and fix LL first x 3 each side – TITTIBHASANA switch legs while staying up
•AMS heels at wall, activate metatarsels, what is depth of ankle area – MALASANA catch heels- KURMASANA – MALASANA lift heels NOT buttocks float into BHAKASANA (try standing on 2 bricks)
•Here he gave a lecture –these poses are 95% skill and 5% strength (“If you asked me to lift a 100lb weight I probably couldn’t”) When Guruji was teaching the hand balances they had 4 months (of several classes per week ) where they weren’t allowed to lift up at all, they just concentrated on learning the arm and leg wrapping, no lifting up at all. No offence to the Seniors, but if you want to learn the poses so that they are not just a muscular effort then study the pictures and video footage of Guruji (1975 Paris Practice) look at the picture (on wall) there is no muscular effort, he is beautifully quiet.
•3 more attempts at BHAKASANA
•SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA with brick under feet, spread back. If struggle with groins then know that it is resistance which causes the fight. Completely let go.