Today was my last conference of the trip, this time next week I’ll be on my way home. This year I seem to have managed to get a good spot near the front each Saturday , so I can really hear what Sharath says. It feels almost like a press conference, there are a line of phones and recording devices placed along the edge of the stage. I think he comes with a theme in mind he wants to talk about, but goes off at tangents as thoughts occur to him, he talks often about Guruji, reminiscences about teaching in the old Shala in Laxmipuram.
The Q&A was better this week, more pertinent questions, someone asked about backbends, his reply was along the lines that in normal life we spend so much time bending forward, picking things up etc, it’s important to equalise the body. He said Guruji always sat up straight, where as others his age would be hunched forward, backbends give you a better body for longer. He said he returned to Guruji’s funeral pyre the following day, the whole body was gone except for his Pelvis. Sharath said there’s no feeling like you get in backbends, you can’t buy that feeling even with 10 million. If you haven’t experienced the elation of “catching” or standing up you won’t know. He likened it to Masala Dosa, you have to taste it to know. I think he must like masala Dosa, he often mentions it! He asked the girl who asked the question if she got that feeling in backbends, I think like many of us she’s still at the stage of finding backbends a trial,
Someone asked about doing two practices a day, he said once is enough, come to the mat, be fully focused for the two hours or however long your practice takes, tame the monkey, be present, enjoy the practice.
I asked about Pasasana, whether it’s more important to bind or to get the heals down, being as his mother seems to be on a mission to kill my legs doing it every morning! He said catching is first, he said the best training for getting the heals down is an IC. (Quizzical look from me) he was talking about an Indian commode, squat toilet, he said everyone does that asana in India between 6:30-7:30 in the morning. He said I should get one sent home.
Another question was about doing full vinyasa between postures, he said you shouldn’t do it as it takes too much energy and the body loses heat.
I really enjoyed this weeks conference, Sharath’s enthusiasm and humour shone out and good questions made it the best one I’ve been to. Conference is such an integral part of being here. People who are leaving line up to have their picture taken with him. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a picture with Saraswathi before I go as I’ve been practising with her this time.