Back at the source after 3 years away, so much has changed, yet much including the practice stays the same.
I’m staying at a B&B for a couple of nights, then tomorrow moving to Gokulam for the duration. The B&B is really nice, but the location isn’t really practical for early mornings. If this place was in Gokulam it would be booked years in advance. It has a roof garden looking out over the park.
Practice has started 3 days earlier than planned. My email confirmation said start Sunday, which is why I wasn’t worried about the B&B’s location, but when I registered at the Shala yesterday I was told you start tomorrow (Friday)! Not only that, after a Swedish girl ahead in the queue was given a very civilised 6:30am start time she gave me 5am and 8:15 for led, how these things work I’ll never know.
4am rickshaw to Gokulam, I still ended up being early despite it taking me a while to find a rickshaw this far out at that time of the morning, Saraswathi told me to change and start. Saraswathi’s Shala is much smaller, at a push perhaps 30 people could practice at the same time, when I arrived there were around 10, but it soon began to fill up. It’s a much more relaxed atmosphere, Saraswathi just asked if I knew the full primary series, though she remembered me from last time, she adjusts while singing to herself. I explained about my arm, she just said “no hurry take your time” and left me to get going.
She has an Assistant too, so help was there whenever it was needed and unlike three years ago when I got stopped at Garbha, I got to do a complete practice from the first, though I can do a proper Garbha now anyway. Despite the relaxed atmosphere she still likes it done right, a new person set up next to me and started doing all kinds of stretching that she probably does at home, S asked her if she actually knew the series!
It’s funny not to hear the “one more”, but each time someone arrived there was still a space, then people started going to the small Finishing Room, which actually has a bed in the corner, tempting though it was after practising after a jet lagged night of non sleep I closed on my mat.
Her last little surprise as I left was to instantly promote me to the 6:30 led on Sunday, just when I was looking forward to a lie in!
Some habits are never going to change, sod the coconuts Amruth chai is a much nicer reward for all that sweat.
Half of AYL seems to be here, in just over a day I’ve met 7 of us who regularly practice there, it’s like home from home, did I mention the weather, 30 degrees today, I’m not missing the weather.
Three years after my flat mate rescued and named Scabs the dog, she is still here hanging out around the Shala.
Saturday is a rest day for Saraswathi’s students.
Good to be back