Sunday, August 19, 2012

How do I feel...?

It's Monday. I felt like arse-soup again when I woke up but I just got on with it. I used my neti pot, drank a cup of tea, sniffed some eucalyptus oil in boiling water, blew my nose 10 times, threw on my yoga clothes, grabbed my mat and walked up to the shala for my 6am start time. Oh yeah, I also cut up some pineapple so it would be waiting for me after practice and put it in a tupperware container, but even though I washed my hands, they smelled like pineapple all practice!

I got a spot near the front right in the middle (no hiding!). I put some tissues under the corner of my mat, but actually didn't end up using them. It was so hot and steamy I guess my sinuses cleared out during practice and the only thing dripping off my nose was lots of sweat. I started sweating right away today, like on the first sun salutation. That never happens to me, so either it was way hotter and more humid than ever before (unlikely) or I have a bit of a fever and I was just sweating already from that (more likely). Either way, it was good to move and stretch and sweat again after 3 days off. I felt kind of weak and shaky, but was also moving pretty fast through my practice (from the caffeine in the tea probably!). I just wanted to get through it today so I didn't slow myself down or worry too much about perfect breathing or bandhas. Maybe it was a bit of a lazy practice now that I think about it. But I did it all. The girl beside me was even more sick, coughing and hacking (deep gargly chest coughs) the whole time. Ick! A ton of yogis are congested and coughing. Too bad KPAYI isn't in a nice isolated part of India with lots of nature in fresh air.

Sharath asked me, after I did pasasana, and I was already laying down for backbending, "catch in pasasana?", I answered "yes" and locked my hands together to show him that I bound my hands in the pose no problem. He said "krounchasana" (the next pose), I asked "now? today?" because often he tells you what pose to add tomorrow, he said "yes", so I sat up, jumped back and then jumped through into heron pose. Watching me easily get into the pose, he then said "shalabasana too". So I added two new poses to my practice this morning, maybe three actually, since there is locust A & B. I like those poses so I was pleased, but again had to check that stupid ego that wanted to go "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! more poses!" so I put my smile away and just did them. In actual fact, it could be a bad thing if he gives me 2 poses a day (which he obviously won't) because then I'd get through the whole second series by the time I leave here... HAHA! I obviously can't do all those poses, but imagine?!

Tomorrow I plan to really slow down again and give more thought to even breathing and proper bandhas in every posture. I'm gonna stay on the downlow today like I did yesterday and give myself a chance to get better. Later today I have chanting class, two Sanskrit classes, and Sara wants to go to a cafe and to some store call Fab India (lol), so that sounds ok. I bought some bread yesterday, and processed cheese and ketchup and made grilled cheese sammies for dinner. Usually an inferior option, but I thought it would be a good idea to have plain, familiar, unspicy food in my belly for a change. Hope it works! Sara tried some (she's from Sweden) and can you believe she's never had a grilled cheese sandwich before?!

Also yesterday my shoes were taken - did I mention that already? I think it was an accidental exchange, but, ew! Can't you feel the difference after a few steps? I left a note in the other shoes (same size, also black, but very different!), walked home barefoot on the burning pavement and through cowpoo and luckily at the afternoon conference I got my shoes back. Weird!

During the Sunday conference, Sharath was talking about how one becomes a teacher or a guru. Not from book knowledge, he says, it doesn't matter how much you read, or watch on dvds, or think you know, proper knowledge comes from practical experience over a long period of time, so that when and if you teach, it comes from your own experience and has more meaning, for you, and for your students. I liked hearing that and agree. I do think that intensives and teacher trainings are good tools though, even though he laughs at the concept, but I don't think someone can use only the training to prepare them to teach. If you have practiced for a long time, then a training can be the icing on the cake, where you learn a few final key things like anatomy, proper adjustments, etc. Or, if you are just beginning to practice, then a training can be like someone giving you the flour and the eggs and the sugar for the cake, but you still need to pay attention the the recipe, mix it all up, add a few more things and bake it for a long time before it's ready. Does that make sense? I'm very grateful for my 200 hour ashtanga yoga teacher training class. But no, like Sharath says, that course on it's own certainly didn't make me a teacher. Yesterday also, Sharath certified a girl named Karen curing conference, and said she had been coming to practice here in Mysore for 14 years. Amazing! I felt very excited for her and it was an emotional moment for her and everyone in the room.

I was thinking, after a lady on the Bangalore train asked me "How do you feel?", how do I feel? All in all after all the good and bad and unexpected and everything that has happened so far on this adventure in India, I feel happy. Happy to be here. Happy to learn. Happy about the whole experience.

...Even though I got my phone bill today and it was an extra $309.00 from calling my bank repeatedly when I first arrived here to get them to unfreeze my ATM access. Buggers.

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