Monday, December 30, 2013

Living the bland life

I have decided. For the rest of my trip there will be no spice, nothing fried and nothing dairy. Which is practically impossible and strange in India. BUT my belly is just so unhappy and I don't know exactly what is causing it, so everything has got to go. I'm living on fruit, plain oatmeal, biscuits, juice, water and rice. Ah well. I'm only here for 5 more days so it's no big deal. I ate everything I wanted to eat over the past few weeks: chai, chili paneer, dal makhani, dosa, samosa, chats... etc. YUM! I need to do something to my stomach before I come here next time, to turn it into steel!! Last trip I had no troubles at all. *sigh*

Sunday night I went to the palace with some friends. It's a must-do in Mysore and I missed out last time. I went once in the day just to look, but the magic is on Sunday evening when they light it up with thousands of lights, for 45 minutes, and a band plays music. We arrived by rickshaw and it was crazy! People everywhere! Things for sale! Kazoo noises! Light up balls being thrown into the air! Metallic balloon guitars! (What?!) We weaved through the colourful congestion and got to the entry gate. There was a metal detector we all had to walk through to gain access to the palace grounds. It had a digital display at the top that said STOP - GO - STOP - GO, etc, but no one was paying attention and tons of people were squeezing through. It was beeping like mad. The security guard was sitting on a chair on the other side of it facing away, not caring at all. Ha!

I could not believe how many people were on the palace lawn. Thousands I think. All crowded around the gates that were set up for crowd control. We got as close as possible and took a few photos before the lights came on. It was :10 to 7, and I planned on turning on my video option on my camera at 6:59 to capture the moment when the lights come on. It was so cool, you could see IN to the palace, into the halls, the stairs, the chandeliers, the murals, it was beautiful. The front was all open.

Before the lights came on...

Then at 6:55 POP! A trillion lights came on. Damn, they went early! Haha... The noise was fantastic of all the bulbs popping on. And the crowd oooohed and ahhhhhhed. We took photos. Then I turned around and realized the entire perimeter was alight. All of the walls, fences, gates, surrounding temples were lit up. It was sort of like Christmas lights, in my mind. I used to drive around the streets of my neighbourhood on Christmas eve looking at all of the lit up houses. This would do this year!

Mysore Palace, all lit up (for Christmas, in my mind!)

Some of the perimeter and all of the people who came to watch
We had dinner before the Palace and stopped by my favourite little store called Fab India on the way home, so it was quite a night. And this was after my 430 am practice. I was wiped! It's also a new moon approaching so a lot of us were commenting on how tired we felt the past few days. I slept well.

Monday morning was another Mysore practice at the shala. I went early so I got in with plenty of time. I started off with a nice slow mindful practice but somehow things sped up. I realized I was rushing my practice a bit so kept reminding myself to slow down. I started in the very back on the tile under the window, but it was still hotter and more humid in the shala than the past few weeks. I liked it! Sharath moved me up on to the carpet at supta padangustasana because he saw my heel hitting the wall in my cramped up space when I took my leg out to the side.

My last pose, kapotasana, felt really good and relaxed and "easy" (as easy as it can feel) and it only took me a few breaths and a few finger walks to catch my heels. I was surprised. I thought my back would have been angry from the last kapotasana I did, and would resists. However, I had two led primary series' and a day of rest, so I think that helped. TODAY will be the real test!! My back does feel stiff as I sit here writing this. I hung out in the shower already this morning letting the hot water beat down on my back muscles. I leave for practice in 30 minutes or so.

Sharath helped me with pasasana, using his leg to support my back so I wouldn't fall over, while he lifted my head, pushed down my heels, and opened my chest by twisting me more. My body went along with it all and it felt great, but as soon as he stepped away I tipped over. He set me up again and I tried my hardest to hold on and stay put, but again I tipped over. I am not sure why! If my heels are up a little I can balance no problem, but when my heels are down I fall backwards. Argh! I laughed. He didn't.

He also helped me with my backbends. He does this funny thing, when you first stand up from your 3 x urdvha danurasana, he just stands there on your mat. And almost always says "finished?". Haha, obviously I am not finished dropping back and standing up three times, I just stood up for the first time and you saw me! And then he doesn't move to give you room. I actually considered how I would do my drop backs without smacking him in the head with my arm. I stretched my hands straight up in the air. My drop backs (thank god) were strong and controlled this time. I think I am getting stronger in my legs and core. He stepped in closer for assisted drop backs. I started and he whispered "slowwww dowwwwn" as if trying to talk directly to my nervous system. I didn't think I was rushing that much! It was nice though, and sounded calming, so I slowed down. I walked in on my last one and touched my heels. He grabbed one wrist at a time and connected my hands to my ankles. This was the first time he did this with me. It was quite gentle actually and my body didn't freak out like it did last time someone tried to make me "catch". I concentrated on pushing my heels down. My right heel only, lifted a little. I feel like it was a millimeter off the ground but it was probably more like and inch. He said "mmmm". I think it was a disapproval noise, but who knows. I thought I did pretty damn good! Haha. He said "come up". I came up SLOWLY! *phew*

Yesterday I did not much of anything. I hung out with the pooch. I am starting to get very nervous for his long plane ride. I know it will be hard for him. I put his dinner in his crate last night so he had to go in to get it. He was not impressed! I will start getting him in there more and more before he has to live in it for 30 hours. Poor baby! Maybe I can get in it with him for the flight?? It's pretty big...

Today after practice I have a 90 minute massage scheduled (YAY!) then I'm off to Somnathpur temple one more time. Tomorrow is a new moon (rest day) and also just happens to be New Years Day! Yesterday in conference Sharath wished us all a Happy New Year and also warned "Don't do parties"... LOL, trust me, I won't! I will be taking it easy and setting some intentions for the year head. A new moon is a great time to plant some seeds and watch them grow. What seeds are you going to plant??

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