Monday, January 16, 2006

All is coming...

That chai kept me up most of the night! Just random thoughts running across the mind. I was very vigilant in my attempts to slow them down but each time I'd get close to sleep the gecko would cackle and wake me again. Sometimes I get worked up when I can't sleep, but last night I just took it as it came and realized that practice would be practice with sleep or without. I actually got out of bed about 15 minutes before the alarm went off and began the process of getting ready. It doesn't take me much to get ready though. I'll typically drop a bucket of cold water over myself to wake the nervous system and to try and tame my mane. This not cutting my hair thing is about to kill me but I'll make it through and win this "hair off" with Christian. Sometime this summer we'll pull everyone together and have them decide the winner. For those not familiar, the "hair off" is quite similar to the "walk off" from Zoolander. I propose that the looser has to shave his head in shame. :) My locks are coming along nicely but being in summer like heat with hair is something I haven't done for 15 years! Anyway, I left the flat around 5:45 to hit the shala at my next 6:00 starting time. I'm thinking that 6:00 will be where I'm at for the rest of my time here. The advanced students get started at 5 and the shala seemed pretty packed with them when I walked in. There was a bit of a wait this morning and the standard who is next confusion. Guruji would call out "one more" and someone would get up to go, but then Sharath would point to someone in particular to take the place. He pointed me in again. I guess I'm getting used to that but there is still a slight twinge whenever I jump ahead. When in the shala the shala rules apply though. As Heathir said after doing my Vedic chart, I'm *ahem* "quite sensitive" to others, maybe overly so in situations like this. Funny that it still bugs me enough to write about it after two weeks here. There's one of those subtle shala lessons in there, eh?

Speaking of shala subtitles I had a near mystical experience with one of the pieces of art in the shala during practice today. More on that later after I do a bit of research. Today's practice was wonderful but very different. I don't know if it stems from having a led class, two days off, and then another led class, but I was having difficulty figuring out or remembering what came next in the series. This was so much the case that I confused a couple of Surya Namaskaras and then completely forgot the Parsvakonasanas! I haven't done anything like that in over a year. I didn't realize it until I was in Parsvottansana either, which was odd. I suddenly came to and thought, "how am I here so quickly?" I took advantage of it though and really slowed down the rest of my practice. I did 20 count Janus and Marichyasanas and actually got a wrist bind in one of the Ds! That was kind of cool. (yeah, I know… non attachment) I think that I'm getting a much more of a twist these days. I also took my time and got a full on Supta Kurmasana with the feet crossed properly. My vinyasa up was rough as I lost the crossed feet, but it was better than it has been since I've been here. It is so packed in the shala it's hard to do the full vinyasa after some of the asana without taking out the person next to you.

What else? My Setu Bandhasana was a bit better today and I did my Urdhva Dhanurasanas with Guruji standing at my feet watching my every move. I tell you, THAT is motivation enough to get off 3 solid 5 count Urdhvas! I though for sure he was going to tell me to stand for drop backs, but I got all the proof of his wisdom I'll ever need when he simply told me to sit down and "out your legs!" He was quite patient while I did a proper count vinyasa into Paschimottanasana and then he rolled my mat up over me and layed down across my back, allowing me to breathe into it and giving me a good strong adjustment. That was actually my first Guruji adjustment folks, and if that's the only one I get I'll be quite satisfied. The man certainly has the requisite energy, grounding and extremely expansive at the same time. More to meditate on this afternoon.

It's funny though, coming here I thought that other aspects of yoga would be more in the forefront and in many ways they are, but they are done so only through the practice of asana. It has always been known that practice is all, but here it is more apparent that the other "limbs" come pouring forth from a solid daily practice. Maybe it is the time that is available here to let the practice settle in, maybe it is the energy put forth by Guruji, the family and the other students, or maybe it is simply being at the fountainhead of yoga. It's most likely a combination of all three, the soil, the energy and the work. I'll give a nod to those who say you don't need to come to India but I'll add that if you can you should. The reasons are the subtle ones that I've tried to capture here with little success. Maybe I'll improve my ability to communicate the wonder here once I return. :) It's going to take a long time to process what I have seen and done here. But in the end it all comes down to practice wherever you are.

Oh, speaking of that, I think I saw some 3rd and 4th series asana today in the shala. Wow! Oh that reminds me to relate a little story that an advanced teacher was sharing at breakfast one morning. I have no desire to be a gossip, but I want to remember this one. She was talking about how Guruji used to get her into an asana that would typically make students pass out. Instead of stopping the adjustment when she passed out he would use this as an opportunity to get her further into the asana. Now, I don't want to start anything here but I personally find this to be acceptable and I'd completely submit myself in that way to a teacher I trusted. Hell, many of the things I've been though have been far more intense than that. But you know me, I'm a glutton for transformation! :) So, I guess this action created a great deal of fear for many of this teacher's contemporaries. I can understand that as well, I mean doing adjustments on twitching unconscious bodies could be a little disconcerting. It's right up my alley though! More thumbs up for Guruji in my book! I'll admit to being a little flippant about such things, but it's my reality after all. Nothing but good clean fun, this ashtanga!

Man, I have so many more things to write about, but I want to get on with my day. There is of course the trip to Coorg to document. I've been hanging out with the Australians far too much! :) Pictures are coming. My mate Damian is quite fun and Nicole, Jonelle and Krtisten are a blast to run about with as well. I don't know what the deal is with me and the Australians. Maybe I simply identify with them on the basis of their penal colony roots. I mean, most of my mates back home are thugs and criminals. That's got to be it. :) I've also been seen far too often with Julian from Birmingham. Christine hails from Calgary, Denna is from New Hampshire and Heathir's from NY and various otherworldly ports. These are just a few of the folks I've made good connections with. I guess I'm not as anti-social as I thought. There are a few others as well, but I'll spare them the notoriety of naming them on the filthy rag this blogs become today. :)

Oh, just a heads up as well. Many of you know I'm an accent mimic. I've done it almost uncontrollably my whole life. Be prepared as I'm now speaking with a bizarre Indian Australian accent! I've also found that I’ve picked up a handful of Australian slang words and I catch myself doing the Indian head wobble on occasion. I'm a big cultural mess at the moment. :) I'm sure it'll clear up after a few days back in Detroit, though I kinda dig the head wobble. I'd probably convince a great many folk back home that I was truly autistic if I managed to keep the head wobble going. It's not really the type of thing that translates to american culture well.

Ok, I've got to get a move on. I've taken the plunge and signed up for two weeks of Jayashree's Yoga Sutras and Sanskrit class. It's Monday through Thursday from 4:30 until 6:00. I've had two weeks to settle in here, now it's time to go into a bit more detail. Of course, I'm going to be utterly lost in this class, but there's only one way to begin. So, I'm off to pick up some clothes before class. I might go shopping in the city this evening as well. Though I've picked up quite a few things I still have many gifts to buy for folks back home. If anyone has any requests (nothing too labor intensive) now is the time to let me know.

Thrive on, ~G

7 comments:

samasthiti said...

Turrets Syndrom, not Autism. Turrets is what you have...I am not sure I spelled it right, but the diagnosis is correct.
Either that or your a spaz! LOL!

samasthiti said...

Turrets Syndrom, not Autism. Turrets is what you have...I am not sure I spelled it right, but the diagnosis is correct.
Either that or you're a spaz! LOL!

samasthiti said...

See so am I! I like to post doubly!

Gregg Newsom said...

I guess what I mean is that most think I'm autistic already and the wobble would hammer that nail in completely! :)

susiegb said...

And what Aussie slang have you been picking up?!?! :)

suzy said...

So, what is the mystical experience? I would love to know.

denise t. said...

Sounds like an awesome experience so far...shopping request...maybe a silver bangle or some type of clothing? i'll reimburse you.
your imi friend...Denise T.