Philosophy & practice

No practice at TLC this weekend, no way could I practice in the west and get to the north of the capital in time for the monthly Philosophy discussion group. The group gets larger every month, bringing more ideas, thoughts and opinions. This month we did the Bhagavad Gita, a text most yoga students intend to read but probably never get round to. Ostensibly it’s a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna before a battle where Arjuna is reluctant to kill his kinsmen despite knowing it’s the right course of action, the dilemmas and moral, mental questions the text raises are a metaphor for our attitudes towards practice and life in general.

Tottenham Buddha

It did help that this month Ruth joined us, she is an expert on these texts and history and her enthusiasm and insight shone through and brought what could seem a bit of a boring, dry story to life. The two hours just fly past, I’m glad Mel always produces a set of notes to take home, we seem to cover so much.

Next month it’s the Upanisads, but that’s a bit of a thick text, even the easy idiots guide Ruth recommended, I think google is going to have to enlighten me.
Sunday was another tortuous journey of cancellations and engineering work, meaning I got to the Shala an hour late wondering if it would already be full. I knew it was hot in there, when as I closed the street door and before opening the inner door my glasses steamed up! But not only was it super hot, but a space on the back wall in the sunshine was still free.

A nice prompt, sweaty practice. When the Shala is busy and hot practice is always better. As usual plenty of help from Louise and good to see Emma back assisting again. Mostly left alone in seated apart from Mari A squish, bound both sides of D on my own again, though for some reason my fingers couldn’t get it together in Supta K. A lovely shoulder pull back in Salabhasana A, really feels like the upper back opens. More Bhekasana experiments, the right hand seems to have gotten over its dyslexia and can take the position, the left is learning to do it.

So we come to backbends, UD against the wall and using the brick shape blocks before playing hang backs. Louise had said this was the week to try going further, so I found her waiting at the end of my mat as I came up off the wall. We started with cross arm half way, but the first was so deep L decided we may as well go straight to assisted dropbacks. Slowly back trying as much as possible to keep it in the legs, fingers touch and back up, the right hand would land, but the left is in the wrong position and line with its lack of range of motion, if I tried to land flat the hand would slide away. We did 3, I’d forgotten how much work this is and was glad of the full on Paschimottanasana squash that followed, even if it left me dizzy as I came up.

Closing still lacks Sirsasana, no idea when I will be able to try that, the shoulder is nowhere near strong enough, but now the backbends, well assisted ones at least are back, it’s a full practice again and it feels like it, the ashtanga stamina still needs to return.

2 Responses to “Philosophy & practice”

  1. Savannah Says:

    The Upanishads? Wow, ambitious! And I’m so glad it feels like you have a “full practice” again. You’ve come so far after such an extreme injury. I’m sure the drop-backs are feeling really good after only forward folds for so long.

    • Kevin Says:

      You are right there, when I saw the thickness of the “easy Upanisads” I thought that’s a serious undertaking, so google it will have to be.

      It’s fun doing dropbacks again, glad Louise has brought them back, I’ve experimented at home dropping on to a Bolster, but doing assisted ones all the way in the Shala is a different ball game.

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