The Peanut Galleries

Peanut Gallery 1

AYL is chock a block full on a Sunday when practice is going to be followed by Hamish doing Conference. I had done my Surya’s in the Finishing Room before Louise called my “one more”. By the time I had done backbends and headed back to the last spot in the Finishing Room to do closing, jammed in by the blackboard, there were so many students waiting to start there was a queue sitting patiently in the corridor. This “Peanut Gallery” watching those of us practising consisted of a few Authorised teachers waiting to start. Closing was proceeding along nicely until I came to Sirsasana, which with the shoulder is still a bit lopsided and getting vertical can be a bit hit n miss, it ended up being a “miss” day as I went up, failed to catch myself at the top and then aware of the wall on my right and my mat neighbour, whose mat was touching mine, avoiding both I went over the top, sideways crushing my toes painfully under me, eek ow ***%#^>* Ommmm. At least a member of the gallery was kind enough to check I was ok, my ego and toe were bruised but no serious damage done.

Post practice croissant and tea and back in there for a Conference in memory of Guruji who would have been 100 that weekend. Hamish talked about Guruji’s passion for yoga, his generosity towards his students, his house that some students had helped to buy which became the old Shala at Laxmipuram. Hamish then asked us to arrange ourselves in to lines before announcing that as part of the celebration one of the restaurants on Drumond Street would be delivering food for everyone.

Hamish giving conference


The conference and party were filmed and you can watch the short YouTube video here

Peanut Gallery 2.

Out here in the sticks at the local Shala things are different, no queue to start, a lot cooler and most students have quite a short practice, not many go beyond half primary and as for students doing intermediate, we are a very rare bread. By the time I’d done full primary there were just 3 of us still going and the other two were closing, so Olena was on me for Pasasana, Bhekasana and here I’m encouraged to practice through to my crappy Kapotasana, so I got assisted in Parsva Dhanurasana, Ustrasana and Laghu, as the local peanut gallery looked on from Savasana or through the glass partition to the Lobby.

I get more time to experiment with Dropbacks at the local Shala , no pressure to make space for the next person in the corridor queue, freedom to do the hanging exercises and shoulder openings before dropping back and standing up off the half thick blocks, trying not to be conscious of the peanut gallery that has grown outside the partition to include people waiting for their Pilates lesson. As I stood up from my 4th, S who I thought was asleep in Savasana next to me, said “can you stop doing that you are making me feel tired watching!” You just don’t get comments like that at AYL.

At AYL you also don’t get any adjustment, advice or assistance with closing once you have disappeared off in to the Finishing Room, but unbeknown to me Olena had returned and saw my dodgy kick up in to Headstand, cue a mini Sirsasana lesson on engaging my core, raising one leg, engaging and bringing the other leg up, then going in to Ardha Sirsasana, which I have to admit I haven’t practised doing much in the last couple of years with the shoulder issues, so instead of dreaming of croissants in Sirsasana as I usually do, that ended up being a testing end to practice, though she did give me a super squash in child’s pose.


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3 Responses to “The Peanut Galleries”

  1. Mike Evans Says:

    Thank goodness there is no waiting queue or audience at my weekly practice class. Although a woman who frequently takes a space behind me did comment the other week that she probably knows my bum better than she does my face. So much for dristi!

    I always think it’s interesting, given that Krishnamacharia said that headstand and shoulderstand were the most important poses, that these get practised out of the view of any teachers in many mysore classes.

  2. joanna Says:

    I love the fact that shoulderstand and headstand get so much work at Bayoga, because they are such strengthening poses. Olena’s does great squashes in child pose and also lovely massages in savasana.

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