Day 28 – Raya

28 Jan

1980-01-09 04.12.25
I must have had a sixth sense when I put blog up so early yesterday. The internet was down for the whole beach area throughout the evening. Spent the time doing forward bends moving on to the more obscure padmasana ones which come so much more easily in this hot weather.
Slept well and woke up just before 8am for last swim in warm sea I am likely to experience for some time (particularly as our Summer holiday this year is west coast of Ireland, brrrrrrrh!). Just time for a little yoga and breakfast before heading off in taxi for flight. I had allowed 2 hours for the 1.5 hour journey, which was just as well because we needed fuel and the filling station was in chaos. Every pump had its own impatient queue and nothing was going to happen anytime soon as a fuel delivery meant that the station was temporarily closed down. I felt surprisingly relaxed as the minutes ticked by and the car got hotter and hotter, which turned out to be justified when after finally filling up and leaving, I got a text from Air India to say my flight was delayed (could have squeezed in another swim!).
En route to the airport we passed an accident where a motorcyclist and all his parcels had come off his bike in the middle of the busy carriageway. A few other bikers had stopped to help and my driver pulled up close and stuck his head right out of the window. ‘Ah good’ I thought, he’s going to offer his assistance. Instead, having got a really thorough ogle he made a little click of disgust and sped off to the airport. I asked if there would be an ambulance available and he indicated there would – but I wonder how it works here? Do you have to prove you have funds before they will assist you?
Upon getting to the airport I was hurried to check in by an attendant, when I mentioned the text informing me of the delay he said it was not delayed at all. Oh. This gives me a little thrill of worry about my travel arrangements for getting back to UK on Friday. I have a total of 4 separate flights that need to coordinate and flow seamlessly …….
The flight seemed almost obscenely quick in comparison to the 13 hour bus journey – take off, peanuts and orange juice, land – 45 minutes!!
1980-01-08 05.42.38
Raya’s class was worth coming back for, though we didn’t get to any actual pranayama – mainly we worked on what happens in the abdomen in the various leg positions, whether seated, supine or inverted. He gave a rather impressive demonstration of a good padmasana in sirsasana – not the weak crossing that we all settle for but a really compact cross is needed to draw the length into the abdomen and keep the lumbar long. At the moment I would be lucky to aspire to his weak version, never mind the strong one. He also strongly warned against tying the legs together in supta virasana and implored us not to continue passing this method onto our students. He showed clearly on Uday how it causes the thighs and groins to become aggressive and hard and the abdomen to narrow and tense. Instead the feet should be made wider and then rather than slamming the legs together the outer knee has to lengthen and turn in from there.
He finished with a lecture: when westerners come to Pune, don’t come looking for your understanding to be validated – come with an open mind not to pick and choose what you’re hearing to suit what you think you know. The wind blows in many directions not just one and so the teaching emphasis will vary many ways. And then very important, that once you have ‘mimicked’ you move on – by far the most important teaching comes from your own internal genuine experience.
1980-01-08 05.41.58

Raya’s full sequence here: day-28-reya

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