This morning we attended our first class with Vijay Kumar. We were in the second batch at 6:30am – the first one begins at 4:45am. Obviously the second session is heaving as, for most people, 4:45am is not a time that exists, except for back in the day when we could still party all night. So there were 17 people (all westerners) packed into a room, the air already heavy from the previous group’s hard graft, and it didn’t take long for our own sweat to start pouring onto the floor. Blimey, it was slippery in there, not helped by the smooth marble floor. At one point I heard a kerfuffle next to me and looked over to see Chris lying on his back on his neighbour’s mat, flailing like a helpless beetle, having slid there during his gharba pindasana rolls. Drop backs were nerve-wracking, as I half-expected my hands to fly out beneath me on the sweat river that had appeared on my own mat.
I’m painting a lovely picture, right?!
Anyway, it was a great session, all the better for the heat and sweat (my arms positively flew through my legs in gharba, with no squirty bottle of water in sight). Vijay was a calm, friendly presence, patrolling the room steadily, and providing assistance where required. Many people in the room were still learning the sequence, and he took lots of time to explain new postures and, from earwigging (yes I know, I should have been focusing on my own practice but I’m too goddam nosy!), he explained things really well with clear directions and helpful hints. He was also really patient and encouraging, and I received some great adjustments. I liked that he asked for feedback as he gradually pushed you deeper into a pose, and that his adjustments built-up slowly, until you suddenly realised you had never felt so deep in the posture before. My body felt really open thanks to the heat and adjustments and I can already see how a few months of regular practice with Vijay will help my practice loads.
So all in all it’s a big thumbs up for Vijay, even from Chris, who I have started to call the ‘reluctant yogi’ (and I think he calls me the ‘yoga nazi’ behind my back). I can’t wait for more… 🙂
Anyway, we’re off to source a local SIM card now (no mean feat out here – the infamous Indian bureaucracy penetrates all facets of life, and I have never needed so many passport photos in such a short space of time in my life!). I will bring to you some of my observations of Indian life that I’ve noted down so far in my next post – Mysore is a wonderful, friendly city, where chaos and calm reign in almost equal measures. Some of my favourite things so far? The smiles, the food, the cows, the fresh coconuts – oh, and the yoga, derr.
Couple of pics today:
Today is Shiva’s day and, in preparation, the roads have been full of a variety of geometric chalk drawings, one outside each home, since we arrived. They bring good luck apparently.
Every Sunday Harish, the cafe chef at our accommodation, gets in touch with his feminine side and decorates the cafe with fresh flowers- how lovely… 🙂