Led Ashtanga in Mysore

I looked at the clock after lunch today and it was 2:22.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I smile inside and out when I see that.  Nothing crazy, just that things are going in a positive direction for me . . . today.    Then I quickly looked up and met a cow in the road who wanted me to pet her head all day.   But alas I was on my way to Sanscrit Class. It’s been good day and even though I can’t get the vowels right in Sanscrit, I’m not judging.

Today was led and although my apartment is around the corner and I could get over to the Shala in 2 minutes, I feel late.  You are not supposed to be too early and you can’t be late.  Then of course there is Shala time and the clock in the apartment is set to that which is helpful. I arrive at the gate minutes before the second wave of people and the steps are full, so I take a seat on the ground next to the bottom step. I feel pretty lucky when I see everyone coming up behind me. People will enter to the right and left of me and I will be right in the middle, which sort of means I will get squeezed out.  I know the drill as you have to keep moving and work your way up without a sound and no stopping.  No pushing as that would not be yogic.  There is nothing yogic about getting your spot for led class, as you are out for yourself and you only worry about yourself it seems.  I’m pretty friendly and let a woman know she should move those mats over and get in or someone else will.  There is literally 1/2 inch between mats so for anyone talking about not having enough room to practice at AYM, we have luxury right now.

I end up on the stage, in a spot where I will have to be careful not to fall.  Any mis step will have me toppling into the room.  Just so you are not in suspense, I don’t fall, remain very steady and keep my dristhi at my nose (very intently) in Chakransana or the backward roll as I seriously could roll off the stage.  Dristhi is so very important and I feel very connected to the elements of my practice keeping me steady.  Today’s practice felt like coming home with Sharath directly in front of me in his chair.  He stays there mostly, but gets up during the seated asanas to makes sure everyone is wrapping and this is where he has to tell some people to stop.  In the headstand, Sharath loves to say “don’t fall” and I say to myself no kidding I have to stay with it here.  My legs shake in Ardha Sirsasana, but i don’t fall.

It was a really nice practice and I’m loving primary again. There is always something to polish in the primary series and it’s fun because these days it does keeps changing for me. I’m riding the energy of this place. Sharath took my legs to cross in Supta Kurmasana and I probably should have sat up but still not sure of the protocol.  We have led again tomorrow as it is the first day of the week.  There is more people now as the first week of registration is done.  I’ll be early tomorrow!

My first week was fun.  I got right into the swing of things with practice, my apartment and touring.  I’m meeting fun people, stopping for coconuts and trying never to be in too much of a hurry most times except when we all shuffle into the Shala for Led Ashtanga

There's a cow in the road, always!

There’s a cow in the road, always!

.

The Monkey Mind

I tried, I really did try to keep focused and practice today. I had a nice spot in the middle of the room and as I started to practice I noticed my mind wandering. I continued to bring it back to my breath and then I remembered to use the drishti, but my drishti keep going. I was not steady today. I even had weird thoughts like I wonder if he would notice if I stopped after Navasana? What if I just rolled up my mat right now? Then I had this conversation in my head that Sharath and I would have. So you see crazy monkey mind? I figured stopping at Navasanna was not an option for me anyway. It probably would only be to get his attention. Maybe that’s what students do? “Hey _______ , I’m going to stop after Navasana . . .” and the conversation continues just so the student can get to talk to the teacher. Could be?

I decided to continue to try to focus.   I remember that the breath could help and although in the asana I could stop and focus and breathe, it was in the transitions that my mind took over. Supta was done properly (which means it felt just right) and then there I am hanging out in Bakasana. So there I am with my “Bakasana looking good” . . . BUT you don’t hold it there! Again I’m thinking jump back or no, step or go.   I’m hanging out for a breath or two or three too long . . . thinking. Long enough to get noticed. It’s important to be efficient here. I take time in backbends, too much time, so the rest has to be efficient. I’m trying.

So the mind continues to try and take over the practice and getting to backbends, I get to meet Sharath. My breath is not that great at this point. I do my three drop backs and he jumps off the stage. I’m sensing a system as assistants are mulling around. It’s actually in the timing maybe. He’s easy on me today and I do the walk, walk, walk with my hands and they don’t go too far toward my feet until I’m up.   It’s fun. I’m excited to keep doing the work and I’m up for that. I have heard that before in things I have set out to do. “Are you are up for that?” The mind has to help get you here and the breath will lead you to the tools to bring you to yoga.

Tomorrow is Led. I am not overly excited it’s led for the possibility of not getting a spot or better yet being in some far off corner, which may not even be in the main Shala. Therefore, with no expectations I will take what I get. I will take action, however, and try to get in just like everyone else.  When I face challenges, I’ll just remember to breathe before I take each action and smile when I gently move a mat or two to make a space for my mat.

Happy Moon Day!

Don't take my picture!

Don’t take my picture!