Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sutra Insomnia

Another 7:30, which is late for a yogi, chai! These Aussies are being a bad influence on me. Again, I didn't sleep well. It was a better night than Sunday night though. I really don't think it's the chai, I'm going to blame it on the yoga sutras. I've gone full on into my study of them again and whenever I do so I get overly philosophical. If yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind the study of the sutras has the opposite effect on me. Funny how that works. I'm considering working on one sutra a day and simply doing that instead of taking on large chunks. Maybe that will help to slow me down. Sounds good.

Yesterday was my first chanting class with Dr. Jayashree. Mark that up as a good influence from the Aussies. They were the ones who told me about the class. It is quite a wonderful set up. We meet from 4:30 until 6:00 and work on the sutras and a few other aspects of Sanskrit. Yesterday we did the opening and closing chant and worked on numbers as well. Jayashree's "musical box" wasn't working so she brought out the sitar and played while we chanted. You should hear her voice, it's phenomenal! We basically chant through what we are working on as a group, so I can mumble through, and when she hears a problem with pronunciation she stop us and goes over the individual sutra with us. The pronunciation is quite a bit to get your head around but I think that two weeks of the class will be a good foundation. I need to find a teacher back home so that I can continue with this as I'm really enjoying it.

After class we went to Green Leaf for chats and walked a bit before drinking that damn chai! I then hit Anu's and actually closed the place updating the blog and sending a few emails.

So we must have the practice documentation right? I hit the shala at 6 am and there was less of a line up then yesterday. I got a space by the women's bathroom door in the back which was good as there was a bit of extra space. Though I no longer really need the extra. I've condensed my chakrasana so that I'm now flipping and landing on my feet at the end of my mat. It only takes kicking someone in the head, or being kicked, once to make that modification. I was hyper slow today. I guess I'm at the stage where I simply want to be in the shala as much as possible. Unlike yesterday, I didn't skip anything. :) I tell you though, I think I may log today as my sweatiest practice ever. I actually had to roll out my cotton mat after Parivritta Parsvakonasana because I was slipping so badly. Of course, I'm not good doing my wide angle work on the cotton mat so the Prasaritas suffered. I did feel yesterday's long count Marichyasanas though. My body responded to yesterdays work by tightening up a bit so though I got a wrist bind in D yesterday, I had to work to get the bind at all today. That is one of the great things about the traditional practice of Ashtanga, if it is done everyday you grow body awareness. I love the fact that I am beginning to anticipate the way my body is going to react to this or that stimuli. This carries through off the mat as well. I know how foods are going to effect me and I CERTAINLY know how that late night chai will effect me! :) Saraswati assisted me with Supta Kurmasana. I was taking my time and would have gotten that right foot over the left eventually but she walked by and just popped it up there. I finished up with my standard sloppy and strained Setu Bandhasana and a fairly good rendition of Urdhva Dhanurasana. There were a few counts between going up each time, but all is coming. I looked up after Paschimottanasana and saw that MY finishing spot was open on the stage, so I headed up there. I'm being tongue in cheek when I say "MY" of course, but I've been finishing on the stage lately and like it much better than going "inside." "Inside" is the men's finishing / locker / toilet room. Actually, I've never finished inside so I don't much know what its like. I do go in there to change after practice and it's cold and smells like a gent. I may be a bit prissy, but if I can swing the stage I will. As with the rest of my practice, I've really taken my time with finishing. Today I was going for the infamous hour long Sirasana but somehow I think it only lasted about 5 minutes! :) Yoga Mala says that a headstand under 1 hour is worthless!

Yeah, so it was about a two hour practice today. A two coconuter to be sure! I followed those with breakfast at Tina's. I signed up for one of Tina's classes tomorrow as well. We're going to make palak paneer! Another favorite of mine. My friend Elle is now working at Tina's, which is cool. I've been hitting Kev Inn for the past week or so due to the fact that I need to be careful with my knees after practice. Kev Inn has chairs but at Tina's you sit on the floor. Kev Inn has incredible coffee though. Ah, just a sampling of the MAJOR decisions one has to make while in Mysore! :)

Speaking of that, I'm about to curl up with the sutras here and meditate myself into a nap before chanting class. No shopping today, I'm through with shopping for just one day! Though I've been relying more on autos (rickshaws) I still feel as though I'm walking way too much.

Oh, the Australians were saying something about Tuesday being an auspicious day to Hindu's and that Guruji doesn't give out new asana on Tuesdays. I guess that Hindus try not to do anything new on Tuesdays. I wouldn’t put it past the Aussies to pull my leg though. Anyone have a line on that?

Alright, time to hit the Sutras. All the best from Mysore, ~G


Karen said...

Hey Gregg, You might try kind of tucking the sutras away in the back of your mind (versus "studying" them), like you put a koan in the back of your mind, so it percolates while you sit. Just a thought. Your posts are great fun to read! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

The Aussies are right about Tuesdays.

suzy said...

I really can't keep up with all the Sanskrit. I badly need to brush up.

C.K. said...

I think Tuesdays are actually INauspicious:

Tuesday, known as Mangalawara, is the day of the mischievous god Mars