New life at the shala

cary & baby

The train came, but it still made me late, so after running through the tube and tripping down a flight of steps on the way I was already a bit tired not to mention bumped and bruised when I got the Shala at 8.10. Though the train timing was not great it was nice to have an extra 90 minutes in bed compared to getting the bus on a Sunday morning.

Practice was just about OK, getting there in a rush is not good, no time for a warm up, its straight into Surya A, usually when we chant at 8.30 I am just getting to UHP, but today I had only got to Parsvakonasana. Cat has stopped me getting my head to the floor in Prasarita A, she said my feet were too wide, so now my head is back to being maybe 4 inches off the ground again. UHP was very wobbly today, oh well and no adjustmnet either.

There were lots of people there today, there is a quiet energy that seems to resonate around the room, after being nicely squished in Paschimottanasana, I noticed a little cry from behind me, I looked between my legs to see Cary gently placing her new baby’s cot at the end of her mat as she began her practice. I turned to give her a “hello” smile. A new little life coming into the shala at 6 weeks old, I wish I had been introduced to yoga earlier in life, it was good to see Cary again, she looks well. I was then much more conscious of jumping back “quietly”, shhh…

Helpful adjustment in Triang Mukha, being kept straight by Cat’s leg, my knee doesnt seem to mind this one too much, well not as much as it objects to lotus at least. I resisted the urge to try and do lotus in Marichyasana B & D on the second side, though again managed to bind the first sides, if my knee ever comes back to the party I hope to bind the second side. After both Bhuja and Supta Kurmasana I seem to have now lost the ability to straighten my legs into Titibhasana, but I can jump back from Bakasana, well my efforts must have looked good enough at least, as Cat didn’t come and say I wasn’t working hard enough on them this week!

I sneaked in quite a few bridges before starting my Urdva Dhanurasanas, then managed some ok backbends, before standing up and playing around dropping back. Cat spotted me and somehow appeared in front of me without me seeing her, how does she do that? Then she had me do 4 assisted dropbacks, they didn’t feel as good or controlled this week, though I was tired and maybe didn’t have the energy to help give me the control, she also said I wasn’t breathing enough, but at least there was no dizzyness again, so that’s a kind of progress. K. on the next mat has cracked dropbacks, and is working on standing up, she makes me think it is possible for a “normal” person to work towards doing this.

It took me a couple of goes, once going over the top, but today I finally managed 3 down and up Ardha Sirsasanas. I do have some control when I lose headstand, a yogini behind and between myself and K. spectacularly went over the top landing with quite a crash, narrowly missing those around and would definitley have woken the baby if he had still been in the room. She looked dazed, but was ok I am glad to say, it certainly brought me back to the present. The practice session was almost over when I got to Savasana, so it was a shortish one.

Well its a dilemna, I arrived late, but did at least do my whole practice in the Shala I love with a lovely teacher, but it felt rushed, or was that just in my head. The other option is AYL with its lack of space, but longer practice window, but teachers who don’t know me.

For the first time in 2009 the train home left on time, miracles do happen!


16 Responses to “New life at the shala”

  1. susananda Says:

    Hey… really bummed out that I missed the baby (and practice!)

    Arriving at 8:10 you should have tons of time for primary, it should only take 90 minutes plus maybe extra time for assisted BBs. Didn’t you do it in 90 mins on Friday? And all that warmup stuff Cary tolerates, but eventually makes people get rid of it – it’s seen as a mental crutch because the suryas are your warmup!

    I’m just saying… isn’t the rushed feeling all mental?

  2. globie Says:

    With the warm up stuff I like to try and release my hips with Pigeon poses and hamstrings with forward bends, going straight into the Surya’s is a bit extreme. I am usually there before 8am, so presume that’s why Cary has never mentioned warm ups.

    90 mins is enough if its just 5 breaths, but at the Shala with the warmth I feel I can often release further into postures with some extra breaths. At the minute I like taking extra breaths in Janusirsasana A, not so much for the hamstring, but to let the hip release and flop out, which in turn releases the pain in my right knee. Also now that I am trying out drobacks, I like to play around a little before a teacher appears in front of me.

    I think I felt rushed because of the journey, I like to take my time coming to my mat.

    It was lovely to see Cary there with her little one

  3. AC Says:

    I look forward to when baby becomes toddler and causes chaos around shala trying to squish us all, what fun that would be!! Never too early to start them working………………

    Ouch, cracking of whip! Why people want to do extra stuff before the actual practice is beyond me. 90 mins is just sublime.

    Hope you looked after those knees.

  4. globie Says:

    Baby squisher, cute!

    AC I have seen you do warm ups!

    Resisted the urge to lotus bind Mari D

  5. AC Says:

    Hmm, I’m getting bad habits from somewhere – I hope Susan cracks down when she next teaches, 🙂

    Admittedly one may want to do extra postures after actual practice rather than before.

  6. globie Says:

    Susan is teaching next Sunday, its more a question of when you are actually going to get out of bed and join us!

  7. susananda Says:

    What’s the sound effect of a whip snapping? 🙂

    I do extra postures and warmup stuff, but always at home. I need it just to get out the door and function.

    OK Kevin, I’m not trying to pick on you, BUT, ‘going straight into the Surya’s is a bit extreme’ – that’s what I’m talking about. Going straight into the suryas is NOT extreme or something only uber-yogis do.. it is the design of the system. They ARE the warmup. You’re in a toasty warm shala, you have 20 x uttanasana and 10 x holding down dog coming, why on earth would you need to warm up your hamstrings BEFORE that? Especially as you haven’t just crawled out of bed, but have walked and maybe even run to get there. Your hamstrings are warm. It’s a mental security blanket.

    Plus, you have 1 hour 50 minutes and it takes everyone till quarter past to get out of there anyway, so basically you have two hours still.

    I agree with you about holding some poses longer though, and it’s definitely nice to have the time to do that.

    Do it the way you like when I’m there, I won’t stop you… I’m just saying!

  8. globie Says:

    Susan would love to see you chasing AC up Bethnal Gn Rd to the shala!

    I think that although my hamstrings may be warm, the running actually shortens the hamstrings, I can see what you are saying about the Surya’s being the warm up, but the 20 x Uttansana are not held, is it right to slow the Surya down in order to stretch down more in the Uttanasana? I noticed from rushing there yesterday that in Padahastasana I was nowhere near as near to the floor as I can be. Also about 4 years ago I badly pulled my right hamstring doing Upavistha at home, so am cautious with forward bends, especially if I feel like i am not warm enough, there may be an element of it being a mental security barrier, but it comes from being once bitten.

    I Now always do practice at the shala as I’m supposed to, no criminality. Even when you teach I always seem to end up with Cat or Cary doing practice in the vicinity. I feel their presence, even when they are not teaching, I could mentally hear Cary reminding me of my drishte in Matsyasana yesterday!

  9. Alin Says:

    Glad to hear you had a good practice! I hope Susan’s tips can help ease some of your rushed feelings. It’s not an ideal journey to the mat, but you are there with plenty of time. Ease into it.

    I’m so impressed with how far you’ve come in Ardha Sirsasana. To not be afraid of coming over the top, to try it anyway….I’m inspired.

  10. globie Says:

    Susan is always practicle and sensible.

    I just needed someone to tell me to do Ardha Sirsasana. Its more a matter of concentration with it now, I have more control now, so that even when it goes wrong I still have a modicum of control to not crash.

  11. susananda Says:

    Thank you Kevin… some people would laugh at that ‘always practical and sensible’… like my Mom, ex-husband, etc… LOL.

    I guess you do what you have to do, especially if you’re nervous about an old injury.. and no, I don’t think it’s right to take more than an inhale or exhale in each position. Personally, I find the short hold and dynamic nature of it warms me up better than a long hold anyway, but that’s me. The first few As are often ropey – legs bent on a stiff day and chest not to thighs and just feeling rubbish – but 5 Bs seems to work any stiffness out.

    I know what you mean about practising with Cary in the room.. I guess it’s good that she and Cat have that effect, though I’m sure they both have perfect drishti and aren’t looking at us!

    Oh – and if I spot AC anywhere near BG Road, I shall DEFINITELY chase her into the shala 🙂

  12. Kevin Says:

    They may be practising with perfect drishte, but they have a second self keeping an eye on the rest of us.

  13. AC Says:

    To ensure teacher not behind you, practise back of room and preferably in a corner! Are you all very obedient?

    If I’m along BG Rd then there’s only one place I’m going to be heading for, rest assured there’s no need to chase!

  14. globie Says:

    No I like my spot in the corner, even if teacher is behind me.

  15. susananda Says:

    I like to be in front of Guruji, bandhas of steel in that photo inspires me!

    But teaching when they’re practising is worse than practising when they’re practising.. haha..

  16. globie Says:

    I am more inspired by people like you and Cary and Kristen on the next mat, you all make me think it is possible.

    Practising when they are practising I hear them in my head, Navasana, Cat saying lower the arms. Matsyasana, Cary saying driste the point of your nose and close your mouth!

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