Gabi : First week in the shala
I have now registered to study and am studying with Sharath. I have been lucky enough to score an 11am start for my regular class time. Which means 1. My body will be a bit more awake and hopefully not so stiff when I practice and 2. I have time for a light breakfast and coffee before hand. Yay! Regular classes are Monday-Thursday, Friday and Sunday are led classes with Sharath and Saturday is a rest/massage/pedicure/sightseeing day. There are so many people studying at the moment, that regular classes start at 4.30am (this is usual) and keep going until ~12.30 (this is not usual). Led classes are the same. On Friday there were 4 primary led classes, today (Sunday) there were 2 primary and an intermediate led class.
So, yes I have now started practice. I was so nervous on Friday for my first class. I had no idea what was going on. Biannka, Mel and Dani were all really sweet and let me follow them. Even so, because there were so many people, Biannka, Mel and I all had to practice upstairs in the womens changing room. There are people and limbs going everywhere! There was a woman parallel to me, and I came close to head butting her arse a few times during surya namaskara A. The heat and the smell of sweat and bodies is ingrained into the shala. It’s so humid. Much worse than Townsville. Having said that, led class is incredible. Everyone really does move in time, breathe in time, chant in time and laugh at Sharaths jokes in time. He is a crack up. “No Dancing”, “Where are you going? You have something to do?” “Lift Uuupp”, “Supta go-home-and-rest-ana”. The last one got quite a few giggles, especially as it came right after an incredibly long utplutih.
Today, Sunday led class, was at 6am. I’m not so keen on the early morning starts. But I did get lucky, I got a spot in the foyer rather than the changing rooms. After pushing myself on Friday (Don’t push yourself!) I was/am very sore. By surya namaskara b I had to drop to my knees to lower down. I felt like my chest muscles were going to burst. But it got better, and going that little bit slower, made practice that much easier. I need to have patience. I’m here for two months and pushing myself now will just make it harder later. Sharath stopped me at Marchiyasana B, which is fine. I actually tried to get the bind today, the first time since I hurt my ankle. Sharath also come and adjusted me on my left side, and said “No worries, Its coming” with a little smile and a head waggle.
One of the things about practicing here, is that you really are practice with the cream of the crop. The ashtangis are so incredibly graceful in their asanas, and so strong. Sharath holds the headstand for 15 counts before the lower down! How everyone holds it I have no idea. Watching everyone today (the full primary series is completed and you stop where Sharath tells you), I kind of felt like Hyacinth Hippo watching Madam Upanova from Fantasia (See pics below).
But, like Hyacinth, I don’t really care. I really enjoyed todays class. After the nerves of Friday, today felt better, more focused. It was more about my practice than figuring out what the hell was going on. I am so excited for tomorrows practice, mysore style. I can’t wait. I miss it. Weird. I think Im becoming an addict.