Today my body is hurting BIG-TIME. Last night’s back-bending class stretched muscles I didn’t know I had – and that’s coming from a yoga teacher/masseuse with anatomy training! Vinay’s teaching techniques were unusual – he has devised a series of stretching and strengthening exercises, almost like calisthenics, that prepare the body for back-bending. You repeat each exercise a few times, with the emphasis on using slow, deep breaths to move the body deeper into each shape. Towards the end of the class we used this preparation to do repetitions of a few back-bends such as utrasana (camel), dhanurasana (bow) and urdvha dhanurasana (wheel).
I found the teaching style unfamiliar, and not an easy fit for my ashtanga-conditioned yoga mindset. It took me out of my comfort zone, which always brings with it a gamut of emotions; in this case irritation at the alien postures, frustration that I was finding it all so hard, a sense of deflation (‘I’ll never enjoy back-bends’), borderline boredom at its slow pace, etc…
It’s interesting to observe these emotions – they show I’m being truly challenged, and not just on the physical level, and that is always a good thing, as long as you’re up for the challenge of facing those feelings head-on and working through them. Then you can’t help but come out the other side a stronger, better person. So I am looking forward to this evening’s class, for whatever it brings up… 🙂
In the meantime, Chris is looking smug today, following a bit of a grump yesterday morning. To summarise, the grump was mainly focused on why the ashtanga yoga has to start so early in the morning (we set our alarms for 5:50am to make the 6:30am start) and how he’s wasting away because it’s so damn hard to get hold of meat in India. To be fair he has a point – between the yogis and the Hindus, there isn’t much call for steak…
Anyway, the universe was clearly looking down on Chris in pity yesterday. Firstly, Vijay decided our class would now start 15 minutes later to allow the first class enough time to finish (this now means we can set our alarms for 6:05 – five precious minutes after the critical 6am threshold of common decency). Secondly, we were graciously provided with a protein-fest last night by an empathetic onlooker, including eggs and…. (drum roll)… chicken curry (I just had the eggs – my new-found vegetarianism is still going strong… :)). I couldn’t possibly reveal our sources, but it seems that whoever they are can reliably provide Chris with a meat-feed whenever the grump descends next. Phew… 😉
Finally, here’s a photo of a beautiful, crumbling old house I noticed on a busy road round the corner yesterday. There are a few of these old-style buildings, usually set within large grounds, nestled amongst the newer builds, and often very difficult to spot at first due to the overgrown garden.
In fact, our place is also an original building – it has an old-world charm and a sense of faded grandeur – I love it. Here it is… 🙂