Day 12 – Guruji and Abhijata

12 Jan

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What a full on day! Right I want to start by correcting an earlier inaccuracy that is nagging at me. Right at the beginning I said the teaching hall at the Institute was smaller than Yogawest, but I’ve come to the conclusion it’s actually much bigger. It’s a really strange shape with lots of angles and long and thin – there’s no way it could physically fit that number of people if it was smaller.

Had a dreadful night’s sleep last night. As the internet was down I actually managed to get into bed before midnight (we’re five and a half hours in front of the UK). Just as I’d happily drifted off there came a huge explosion outside. It frightened the life out of me (and Jenny) partly because we had no idea what it was. There were no sirens or sounds of panic and eventually I nodded of again, only to have two smaller explosions again at close proximity – though these were no louder than very loud fireworks. Spent the rest of night tossing and turning and felt I’d just dropped off when it was time to get up and head in for Guruji and Abhijata.

This was possibly the most intense experience of my yoga career. As usual the requirement for absolute concentration began from the very first moment and continued to the very last. There is no winding down, no sense at any point that the work is done and now it’s time to take it easy. In Sirsasana as we were endeavouring to put into practice the many different teaching points that were being relayed, the sweat was rolling down my back, pouring down my face. When I came down there was a complete imprint of my hands, arms and head on the mat. And this was only the very beginning. We were led through the Parivrrtas, turning from the abdominal viscera, the seated twists, Urdhva Dhanurasana – lifting from the top waist just below the armpits. Abhijata demonstrated on stage to great effect the difference this made and then Guruji asked her to explain that she was using support because she is now carrying (pregnant) and that we were to get the same results without the support. There were some magnificent groans and sighs reverberating around the room, but good humour after one particularly uninhibited groan that made everybody laugh. We were all pushing ourselves well beyond any previously held belief of where our limits lay. Still the pace was kept up; Adho mukha svanasana, Sarvangasana (we worked so hard here that even my tongue was trembling uncontrollably), dropping back in to setu-bandha and finally Paschimottonasna – not resting, working so that the bottom back rib was in deeper than the top.

By this point I was literally weeping – the yoga had taken everything I had and there was no room left for anything else. If you’re holding on to anything you just have to let it go. I headed off for a quiet walk home to reflect and came across a barrow selling beautiful flowering plants. The perfect therapeutic activity – I bought a selection and headed back to the flat to plant up a pot for the balcony.Gradually we’re making the space feel like home.

In the evening Nicky and I headed over to the rather posh Mariot hotel for a green salad and soya milk hot chocolate. What a treat!

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