Since my last post I’ve been making some decisions. I’m not a naturally decisive person and, in the past, I would agonise over choices for hours, expending energy on imagining all the potential outcomes of each option before finally reluctantly settling on one, then torturing myself about ‘what could have been’. But over the years I’ve learnt to trust my intuition a bit more and not to discount my ‘gut feelings’ about things.
So what have I decided? For a start I’ve decided to take a break from the back-bending classes with Vinay. He is an excellent teacher, and the stuff that goes on in that room is pretty amazing – I’ve watched people arrive fresh from their desk-job and stiff as a board and leave a month later able to do a drop-back. For myself, I never thought I’d touch my head to my foot in eka pada rajakapotasana or find my ankles in kapotasana without help, but both of those things have happened, plus more. Vinay really does work some kind of yogic magic. But geez my back hurts after one month of classes with him, and I’ve decided to listen to my inner voice that’s telling me I need to rest. I have a tendency to be stubborn and write that voice off as being my wussy, fearful side, persisting with situations that don’t feel good with a perverse ‘you get out what you put in’ blindness. But increasingly I realise that I actually know myself pretty well by now, and if things feel wrong then they probably are. I also know that sometimes the bravest thing to do is to quit – quitting does not equal failure if the thing that you’re quitting does not serve you well.
Secondly, I’ve decided to commit to working with Masterji for a month of asana and pranayama, rather than swapping to Ajay Kumar. Ajay sounds like a high-energy teacher who gives a lot of himself to his students and works you until you drop. I know I’d love the challenge get a real buzz from developing my physical practice so intensively, but again my inner voice gently tells me that it’s not perhaps what I need right now. The competitive, driven, high-energy physical side of me doesn’t take much persuasion to come to the fore, whereas my softer, meditative side needs a bit more encouragement to blossom, which I think will happen under Masterji’s laid-back yet attentive eye. Perhaps I will work with Ajay for my last month here, to go out with a bang as it were, but I’ll continue listening to my gut feelings and play it by ear.
Other things I have decided:
- A DIY castor oil massage is probably more trouble than its worth – rather than the indulgent treat I had last time, this time involved standing in a plastic bucket in our room for quite some time, shivering whilst the thick oil soaked in, then spending what seemed like hours washing it off, until my palms hands went wrinkly. Other words of warning include the weird expansion of foam that happens when castor oil meets shampoo, and the inevitable clean-up of the bathroom afterwards – washing powder seemed to work well, but it was all quite a faff to be honest.
- If there was a contest for the best hair in Mysore, it would be a tricky one to call as you can see below. Good times at Cafe Mandira… 🙂