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.
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.
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!