Saturday, January 30, 2010

Little by little....

When I showed up for the yoga workshop today, I couldn't believe how crowded it was - and how quickly people jumped on the mats - leaving me to look around the room grumpily for a spot.  I was very skeptical I would get anything out of a situation where everyone was cheek by jowl.  "Pretend you're in India," a few people joked.

"India" is said with a certain reverence here, because many of these yogis have practised there for months at a time.  Some with BKS Inyengar, others with Gita.

The invocation at the start of class is sung in Sanscrit.  I am resisting committing this to memory, thinking an English chant might be more suitable.  But when in an Iyengar studio you quickly learn not to argue with the teacher and to follow instructions.  To the best of your ability, mindful you don't injure yourself.

Many of the people taking the workshop were teachers, or teachers-in-training, and had obviously done the poses many times.  A lot of this, like bhandas,  was brand-new to me, and it was hard to catch the subtleties.  There were points in the class I really just wanted to give up, curl up like a little bug, and face the fact I'll never be able to do this or that pose. At the end of the four hours I was exhausted and ready for a long soak in the tub.

But there were definitely moments when it was actually fun, like when we were supporting each other doing dog pose/half handstand.

And other times when I surprised myself because I could actually take a pose like utthita-padmasana (pictured on the right) that I wouldn't have otherwise attempted, thinking it was just beyond my ability.

I also learned I do a fabulous crooked-head-headstand. No wonder the pose has been giving me a pain in the neck.  Now it is off my home practise rotation, with strict orders not to do it unless at teacher is present.  I just can't tell when my head is crooked.

I have this page marked in my copy of 'Light on Life', I just have to keep it in mind: "If you learn a lot of little things, one day you may end up knowing a big thing."

No comments: