Casa Vinyasa in Lisbon has to be one of the most beautiful Shalas I have ever come across anywhere on the planet. It’s on the top floor of a mixed use building with views out to the sea and surrounding hills. It’s like practising in a Stately home, but one where you are allowed to touch the objects, not to mention break sweat.
In Mysore, where I met Isa nearly 3 years ago, the adjustments were the same most days, but in her own Shala Isa’s adjustments come throughout the practice and are beyond just being good, having 12 people to adjust instead of 60+ probably helps! but nothing is rushed, if it takes 10 breaths to get your body to where she knows it can go so be it. Isa is assisted by Liz, who is also superb, not just a DD squashing but movements down either side of the spine to open everything out.
Loads of help today, much of it very different from how I’m used to being adjusted, not just in the time taken, but where the pressure was put, having the bent foot stood on it Janu A. The alignment of the hands in Purvottanasana, very much about grounding and being stable in each posture, especially the potentially lopsided ones like UHP and Tiriang Mukha. Bhuja assist from Liz, which was a nice surprise before she helped me exit via. Bhakasana, even if it was a bit of a plop down, I’ve not done that in 16 months.
In Mysore it was Isa’s Supta K assist that was the best one ever, so when I was in Kurmasana I quite expected her to creep up behind me, but no hands came so I bound myself up and came out via Dwi Pada and saw Isa sitting on the stool next to me feeding her baby having watched me do the whole thing. She said the rotation in the shoulder is fine and she didn’t need to adjust it.
Lots of reminders which I don’t usually get, such as the hand position in Navasana and the feet in Setu B. The adjustments just kept coming, Supta Padang was intense, it’s a rarely assisted posture where you can take it easy when left to your own devices and then Urdva Mukha Paschimottanasana . I also got my first Krounchasana assist since I got that posture nearly two years ago.
UD on a not very stable old blue mat was a struggle, sliding hands and not enough oomph left to push up, Isa had me use blocks against the wall and then assisted my upper back to open which felt fab! I wondered about doing drop backs, not having done them since Monday, but after the Urdva Dhanurasana assist I was very open so I did a hang back to test and I could see the mat, as I came up Isa was waiting for me, how do they do that, just appear in front of you without you seeing? A different instruction today, not to stretch the arms up at the start as Isa says this means you land further from your feet as it stops the back arching. So instead hands at the for head, hips forward, then keeping the arms bent move the hands past the ears and finally straighten the arms for touch down. It felt really stable, though Isa was doing a lot of the stabilising, 3 down and up, 3 x half way then two more to the floor and up, wow didn’t expect to do that today.
Moving for closing is optional, most people seem to stay put, so I did too, then promptly forgot Sirsasana!
Chai after with Isa and Liz, just like being in Mysore.