Birthdays are no longer what they were, last year was a biggie, but this years was going to be just another day until Yogamama asked if I wanted to do the last day of Sharath’s London workshop, as she couldn’t go. Well that sounded much more interesting and fun.
Though when the alarm went off at 4:30am I was thinking is this such a good idea, but when I got to the station I found 2 more local ashtangi’s waiting on the platform for the 04:59. I haven’t been awake this early since Mysore in February.
The venue was the same as last time, The Camden Centre near Kings X, a huge public hall with space for around 200 mats and every space was filled as being the final day the mass of primary series students were joined by the ones who had been doing intermediate.
Mat to mat
Samasthitihi at 6:30 sharp and surprisingly I found it much easier than I expected, standing seemed to fly past with the usual mat shuffling to fit everyone’s legs in UHP, trying not to be distracted by a wobbler up the front.
Sharath seemed to like standing in the little vacant square two rows in front, I could feel him watching, just like being in Mysore, eyes everywhere, he sees everything, the thought that I need to do it right.
He seemed to count faster in seated, especially in postures that my left arm still needs extra time to get in to like Marichyasana D, he was already on “2” by the time my fingers bound. The final Navasana he held us at 4 for an eternity, I could hear his laugh as he counted 5 and the audible relief around the room. Garbha was fun as usual in such a confined space, but my neighbours and I managed to 360 without knocking any of us out, I noticed S rescue a couple of beached folk.
My shoulder was tested in Urdva Dhanurasana, I take my time Inbetween, but we hardly seemed to get any break before the “liiiiift up” instruction. Sirsasana was my main worry, I’m still not very steady and even getting vertical is still a bit hit and miss, I really didn’t want to take local ashtangi Jayne out who was in front of me. I managed ok, but had to come down and go back up for Ardha Sirsasana, my shoulder hates the transition and moving the weight distribution to counter the legs, I managed 5, which was more like 25 by my count!
After Uth Plutihi the room erupted in applause, Hamish and Anna said a few words and then Sharath spoke for a few minutes about the practice, he is so softly spoken and typically he was quite a way away now, unlike when his beady eyes had bored in to me during the practice itself, so I didn’t catch very much of what he said.
Savasana was short and then everyone lined up for the photo. I’m amazed with the amount of students he sees in Mysore during the season and on tour in the summers that he seems to remember people and their practice, does he really remember shouting across the Shala exporting me to “stand up Kevin!” He laughed and said “only one day!” It’s like he mentally keeps count of everyone’s attendance.
Practice followed by birthday breakfast. Well my 51st turned out to be a much more enjoyable day than I expected before YogaMama sent that email, but OMG did I sleep well last night.