Let’s go Samasthitihi

The Practice.

Just after 4:15 the Shala lights came on and the gate swung open, Ashtangi’s swarmed through the gate and up the steps, flopping their sandals down as they went but hardly breaking stride. Thwack thwack as mats slapped down on the rugs, I ended up one row from the back, some ended up doing their practice in the Foyer, others on the stage .

Sharath emerged from his office and sat in half lotus on his chair on the Stage and at the appointed hour he stood up and said “Let’s go, Samasthitihi “. Call and response chant, then Ekum and off we go, my body asking me what the hell is this about at his hour. First few Surya’s are stiff, Sharath kept the same even count as in London, so once I got the rhythm I forgot the time and began to not exactly enjoy, but to become more comfortable. The usual shuffling in the Prasarita’s and UHP, quite pleased I managed to stay upright throughout.

The heat sure helps to alleviate the stiffness at that hour, rivers running down my arms and legs. As usual with led it’s the lack of time, he had counted 2 & 1/2 by the time I had bound each side of Marichyasana D. Mari B was
where the first couple of people got told to stop. Despite the pace I bound Supta K, then as expected it was my turn to get stopped at Garbha. I really need time for this, despite the slithery conditions my arms wouldn’t go through as far as they have the last few days. Oh well a little rest as I watched the majority still going finish the rest of seated.Sharath then telling those he had stopped to join in again for backbends and closing.

Despite the heat I had cooled sitting waiting so Urdva Dhanurasana was a trial, not to mention my hands sliding out. Determination and not technique was what kept me up for each count of 5. Sharath’s counting in English surprised me, I really thought he would count in Sanskrit all the time, but it seemed quite random as he swapped between languages. My street cred fell further when after the first count to 15 of Sirsasana, we went to Ardha, I got to about 3 before losing it. The girl in front of me was quite near the back of her mat, so as I went over the top I was conscious of trying to make myself into the smallest ball possible to avoid her, which I did, alas i went to the left instead and knocked my neighbour who knocked her neighbour. 😦

Someone told me about the special reserved mat at the front of the Shala, apparently it’s for the Head Policeman, although this student visa thing has disappeared there is obviously some kind of a kick back, and I thought it was just the MET that had corruption. Before we left Sharath told us to try and come in groups to the Shala early mornings as there has been some trouble, girls to cover their shoulders and not to congregate in large groups at the Coconut stand down the road after led, when everyone finishes together. Instead there is a guy with a cart who sets up outside the Shala, quietly lopping the tops of coconuts for 12 Rupees a go.
And today I drank my first ever Coconut, some know I have a bit of an aversion to fruit (is coconut a fruit?), but I was drenched in sweat and knew I was dehydrated and was needing to drink, and the guy had lopped the top off and had the straw in it as I walked past. Susan I didn’t even hold my nose, I can’t say the taste was great, but it may grow on me, though if a guy with a Chai stall rocks up one morning then all bets are off.

The home front

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When I got back home, I had just showered and put the washing out when company arrived. It’s been nice settling in on my own, but now I have company in the shape of my friend L, freshly off the plane, though a tad traumatised from the car trip from the airport!

Anokhi was busy, a little birthday slice of banana bread, a round chocolate ball and some fresh sugar cane juice served before your main order came to celebrate their 2nd birthday. Though seeing someone with a Shala Pass with an 8:15 start time made me envious, a whole 4 hours extra in bed for some.

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Conference.

As there are a lot of first timers Sharath devoted conference to some Mysore do’s and dont’s.No road blocking outside the Shala, apparently the locals complain they can’t get vehicles up and down the road. Females to cover shoulders, don’t wear beach clothes, this isn’t Goa. Try to walk, don’t use scooter if possible, he said we “don’t understand the system, because there is no system, everyone does what they want on the roads with recourse to other road users or pedestrians”. We have to bring our Shala passes every day and put them in front of our mats, no interlopers!

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He then went on to talk about how Ashtanga came to Mysore, firstly with Krishnamacharya at the Sanskrit college, how Guruji studied 25 Years with him, then taught at the college himself.

So short and sweet and when we came out there was a board with the information about the other included classes, it’s becoming a full schedule, afternoon naps are going to have to be carefully arranged!

Chanting class mon weds fri 11-11:40am

Sanskrit Gita Monday 4:15-6:00 mon weds fri
Sanskrit 4:15-5
Gita 5-6

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9 Responses to “Let’s go Samasthitihi”

  1. Claire Says:

    Hi – I have followed your blog for a while, but never commented. Just wanted to say how thrilled I am for you that you are finally in Mysore. I check your blog daily for your updates and have been wishing the best for you. Have a great time.
    With love
    Claire

    • globie Says:

      Hi Claire,

      Thanks for reading and the kind wishes.

      It’s amazing to finally be here, I hope you get to come, that’s if you havn’t already been.

  2. fivefootwo Says:

    I am all caught up with your Mysore posts. I am so happy that you made it after a challenging year. Your photography is just lovely.

    • globie Says:

      Thank you,

      Glad you are enjoying, I hope one day you can get here.
      Coming here was definitely the right thing to do
      I’ll keep taking pictures.

  3. Ursula Says:

    Wonderful, yeah, so it is.
    Keep posting, it’s great to read you.

  4. D Says:

    At the risk of sounding evangelical, coconut juice is really the best solution I’ve found for replenishing the body after a good practice. From the Chinese perspective of ‘heating and cooling’ foods, coconut has ‘cooling’ effects on the system, so it’s great for balancing out the body when you’re in a hot climate. I hope it grows on you 🙂

  5. Quentin Says:

    I enjoyed reading. I must admit my yogi friends that go to practice with Sherath, now Guruji, will not comment on where they were stopped. Many stay for 3 months and usually say they did the entire Primary the first time, but alas I know their practice and do not believe. Now chanting and the Gita are offered as well as Sancrit. My, how times have changed. When I volunteer teach at a community center, we do the Mysore occasionally, and I do do have to stop some, for they sweat more and overly push the edge. Fearing injury they must be stopped and encouraged to rest in corpse pose.

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