First of 2012

Last Sunday, Christmas morning , I walked to the Shala in the dark, a Cow in the road, Scabs saying “high”. Outside the Shala a sea of Santa hats waiting for Prakash to open the Shala Gate. A week later, New years day, it’s back to the walk from home to the station, no cows, dogs, horses, I will pass Pret a Manger in lieu of the Coconut Stand and the Chai shop. It’s cold too, instead of shorts, T shirt and thin shawl I’m dressed in 3 layers of jumpers and a tracksuit top.

At least it was a late start at the shiny Shala, who were offering free classes all day, including the usual Mysore class starting at 10:45, so no train stress getting there. Instead of Prakash it’s M who unlocks the door.

I had thirty minutes warming up and playing around time, before i started my first Shala practice since last Tuesday and the first of 2012. Assistance from the get go, downward dog in the Surya’s, Trikoasaa, Prasarita C, after being mostly left alone for three months it comes as a bit of a shock, but also serves the purpose of keeping the mind present. I have missed E’s adjustments and her comments. A slow practice today, 3/4 of the way round in Garbha I lost it, E laughed, asking what happened, it was the Walls fault, after Garbha arse pinball in Mysore, avoiding a wall on the way round in London was this weeks excuse. But the last time I practised here i couldn’t even get my arms through, let alone rock round.

Since I got back from Mysore I’ve had a stinking cold, I’ve shivered through the last few days only doing half primary at home, barely doing backbends. Urdva Dhanurasana was a struggle, even against the Shala wall and holding E’s ankles, but at least here I am free to play and explore and eventually I got some good UD’s, walking the hands in and finding stability. Though E still notices my habit of taking my time between each time I push up! Dropbacks were safe and controlled, so I grabbed four blocks to try some standing up experiments, four went well, then three then two, last time,3 months ago, E stopped me, this time I got nodding approval. Finally up from one block 3 times, but not from the floor, but much better than expected.

Such a contrast in a week, from the heat, humidity and energy of led practice in Mysore with Sharath, to the shiny north London corporate Shala doing Mysore practice with E. It’s the same practice, the same asanas on the same mat, but on a different continent, with a different energy, a lighter atmosphere, but the same intensity, the same satisfaction when it’s done.

So the obvious project for the coming year is to stand up from the floor, but a good start to the year.


2 Responses to “First of 2012”

  1. Keen on Food Says:

    Hi Kevin – good to hear how you are in the UK. What shala were you in?

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