Thursday, November 19, 2009

Practice Post Sydney

Well practice post Sydney and Sharath has been a little up and down, though I am slowly figuring out things regarding my leg. Last week was relatively easy, and the warmth certainly made practising a joy, not to mention the inspiration of the preceding week with Sharath.

Saturday my knee was killing me and my ankle – well it was a cankle, (hard to tell where the calf stopped and the ankle began) – so had a light practice, and a swim in the bay and lounge on the beach afterwards. I then started to think about the swelling and patterns surrounding it – seems like every time I have a bit of wine it goes the puff. So maybe it’s time to experiment and minimise or eliminate the booze for a while. Certainly won’t hurt me, might improve me on many levels!!

Went to the golf (still with cankle and sore knee) on Sunday to see Tiger and of course the other boys playing – it was very inspiring – and focussed – definitely some parallels with yoga in some respects, though these guys are raking it in, and it is competition unlike the old Ashtanga practice. Though I’ve gained some inspiration from the man himself – Tiger – it is just like our late Guru said – “Practice, practice and all is coming” – he is testament to this, another golfer and his story has particularly caught my attention, given my road to recovery – James Nitties. The destiny of one is in their soul….and as he said it is important to remember there is always someone worse off than yourself. So true and again it has put everything into perspective for me. It has reinspired my practice, particularly my self practice which has been rocking this week, and made me focus on doing everything in my power to achieve full recovery.

This week a bit of a cold put practice on hold this Monday, blocked nose, sore throat, no need to spread it around. Tuesday was great and there were lots of people in the studio for a bit on momentum and energy. Wednesday it was moi – I practiced to Sharath’s led count on my iphone, and same same today, though half Mysore style, and from Bhujapidasana with Sharath. Leg feeling good, a bit sore but not swollen, and feeling very inspired – got a bit of a swing out of the golf! And tomorrow class – looking forward to it more than ever.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coffee & Yoga

This morning concluded 6 wonderful days of practice under the guidance of Sharath. I again am so inspired and touched by the practice and continually feel humbled and blessed to be able to practice with Sharath, even though it was only a week. The energy of the whole room has been sensational, and this morning, the last practice was unbelievable. I had a great practice, I felt the strongest I have felt since having my knee op, and in my comeback to full practice. It was hard as always but I felt a lightness and ease again, and felt so focused - I loved it.

After a relatively big night out (in yoga terms) last night, I thought I would drag my ass through practice. Deb, Jenn and I went out for Mexican - ended up being a bit of a margarita crawl, particularly for Jenn. Deb and I had a few, but she had to teach, and I practice so we showed some restraint - something I often lack. It has been a big week, and I was amazed how tired I have felt all week, and have had many naps after practice and in the afternoons. Sleep has not been hard, despite the noise of the Cross.

Conference the other night at the new shala was fantastic. Sharath talked about asana, about bandhas, dristhi and breath. He was as always very enlightening and I always learn a lot. I really felt so blessed then and today to have him, the ashtanga practice, and the whole ashtanga community in my life. He is also such a funny guy. He told a story about doing a demo in NYC and a guy came to pick him up and he was drinking coffee and listening to Bollywood music - made me laugh - I could just picture our guru listening to some of the tunes I know! And today in practice he - as usual he was telling people to slow down - and he said - "why you hurry - are you hungry?" Of course everyone laughed!

Today after practice there was a breakfast outside in front of the yachts and water on the terrace - it was great having coconut juice - just like Mysore, chai, muffins and a bit of a chat though I really didn't know anyone. I went to say goodbye and have a photo as well, and he asked me how my knee was and how it felt through practice. I am always amazed how he remembers things when he has sooooooooo many students - he is a sensation - a true guru, an inspiration.

And just as I was leaving, a guy showed up with some take away coffees from the cafe in the park, one was for Sharath. Sharath thanked him, asked for some sugar, and a girl made a comment about coffee - and Sharath again - he cracks me up - said "No coffee - no prana!" Love it - love him!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halfway Point

Yeah - made it through practice today despite having quite a swollen ankle, and sore knee. As previously it was great - I am really enjoying the energy, led practice and Sharath's unique style. 3 more to go and conference tomorrow night!

Ate great Indian last night, out for dinner again tonight - so social but bed early for practice tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sharath in Sydney Day 1 & 2

Leaving Melbourne on Monday afternoon, I was feeling a little unsure of my ability to get through practice, not to mention even get to Sydney. My knee was very sore and unstable, and Tiger cancelled the flight I was due to board. Nevertheless I finally made it to Sydney arriving around 9.30pm - which was great given I had to be up at 4.30am the following morning. Anyway fortunately my cab driver, who was from Gujarat - was on to it and I was in the Cross just after 10pm, greeted ever so warmly by Deb and her flatmate Jen. After a quick cuppa and a chat it was off to bed to toss and turn and listen to the sounds of the Cross for most of the evening.

Day 1
After a few little naps here and there I arose at 4.30am showered, had a cup of tea with Deb and headed of to Rushcutters Bay for my first practice with Sharath. Jumping out of the car I was greeted by Victoria - my teacher, and we headed in to register (a non-event) and placed our mats, and had a bit of a chat before class. I was feeling OK - though a bit nervous given I had no idea if the knee would survive - or in fact I would given I was a little unpracticed since my arthroscope! I was however excited and was firing on all fronts when I saw Sharath enter the room. I always love the opening prayer with him - actually chanting in general, but loved every minute of it in anticipation of the practice. Then Ekam, inhale.............and we were off - and I was feeling great. I have learnt so much about myself and my body through this practice, and never so much as in the past few months since having the knee op. I was sensible remembering that this practice would make or break me for the remainder of the week. In fact I did everything, bar any half-lotus poses with left knee - where I just modified. Backbends were absolute murder but just as I don't have the strength in my legs I once had - so the arms took the brunt. Still burning from then, they ached in Sirsasana - headstand, but I followed and worked with my breathe and bandhas and it all worked out!! It was great, it was exhilarating, it was just fantastic - he is so inspiring - our guru Sharath - bless him, bless the practice, bless Guruji - Sri K Pattabhi Jois. How lucky I am to have this practice in my life! Ashtanga rocks!

PS. I will not drink tea before practice as I was busting to go to the loo from about Uthita Hasta Padangustasana - and it was murder! Also had a bit of nausea, felt a little scratchy in the throat, but fixed that courtesy of Deb and some Chinese herbs! Also had a word with Sharath about my knee - so all is cool.

Day 2
Pulled up fine - ankle a little swollen but knee ok. Arms a little fatigued but still felt great. Amazing how great food and lots of sleep help. Dinner last night was gorgeous Vietnamese from the Cross/Darlinghurst, followed by ice-cream that I would consider moving to Sydney for. Protein protein to get my through and help my muscles, and a little sugar for love.
Anyway back to practice - all was great - am amazed lately how much I love and appreciate this gift of Ashtanga yoga. I feel so lucky and blessed to have it in my life even when my arms are burning, or my leg feels heavy and is aching, or my lungs feel they could explode - it is so powerful and beautiful. Such gratitude to Sri K Pattabhi Jois for giving us this practice, to Sharath for carrying on the lineage, and all of my teachers, but particularly Victoria for getting me to this point, on the mat in Sydney with Sharath after a few months of doubt and difficult fractured practice.
It was great today - same same but again inspiring. My practice isn't what it was - both before, or directly after my op - but it is there and it is great - it is what it is and nothing more. Best of all I love it!
Breakfast awaits - I must eat!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Off to Sydney

The time has come - I'm off to Sydney tomorrow for a week of Sharath's led classes. My knee is again feeling really bad - I had a good week last week, overdid it somewhat last weekend, and have been suffering ever since. I did however, in preparation for the coming week, manage to do a full week of practice - actually 7 practices in a row, and also jumping back both sides - first time since the operation. However lots of poses are still modified but what can I do - I don't have the full range of motion back. I will do what I can do. I was happy, if not surprised to get my touch in Supta Kurmasana this week - my aim over summer is the full bind - but as you know "to touch is to bind!!" More from Sydney.