Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Today in class: mix of energies:)

Today Mansi and Prajakta did a walk-in. It was a nice squeeze, seven people in a hall which can -- at  the most accomodate six --  but that is the way I recall we used to do at the ashram. It is where u get the glimmer of the idea of pratyahara -- withdrawal of the self.

At ashrams when there was such a squeeze, those `negative' energy type of persons will squeeze u out, throw your mat off, group themselves in  gangs that intimidate u or `catch' prime slots (usually near the asana guru Prahlada:). I recall last time one woman kicked my mat, then came to apologise, then ended up shouting at me! Strange, strange -- and I, an assistant!  They would do lots of those amazingly crude, stupid, childish things u cannot imagine in an ashram, let alone amongst those who chose to teach yoga!! And that too in an advanced level!!  So, I have always had a spiritually snooty attitude towards such behavior, and would not hang out with a gang, not  have a prime favorite place , not mind doing my yoga near the spot where the chappals/mats  are kept and keep to the end of the hall where no one wanted to be;  or on the uneven ledges of the massive Shiva Hall where the floor tilts oddly (so u feel strange when u go up in the headstand) and where the hot sun, even when not beating into u,  can make you nose itch with its rays! And the biggest lesson I learnt, while training, was that whatever happened, people or place, if u do not let all that affect or disturb your practice that would be more of yoga than the expertise in asana itself:)

Even before asana may be attempted, one has to imbibe the sense of yogic pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses, away from all distractions). I found out that if I stick to the space on my mat, I could shut out, while doing my training -- everything -- the distraction of people not doing the headstand staring at u, the thuds of people falling from the headstand, my own self-consciousness and shyness, my own amibition to stay up. Even the last can interfere with your practice!  In fact, when u train that way -- sticking to the space of your mat and only that your of mind -- u can shut people out, shut even your emotions and reactions out.That is where the glimmer of yoga actually begins to happen. So in a way, more than what I  teach as asanas, being and learning in a group, can help teach u the bigger lessons of yoga more accurately.

So, yes, this mornings class was a `tight' class. But we managed well... with the scorpion attemptees -- Mansi, Prajakta, Mirabelle (doing a walk-in also), Jit, Amitabh (must include with Rima too, who is now in the first stage of it:) managing to do that.  Dwipada bhujapidasana ( an arm balance) was also attempted by everyone successfully -- including Amrita, who is now back in form, after a week's sabbatical. Though everybody landed on their butt, instead of sliding gracefully out of it, it was still a great event... all the seven got the pose together!!

Today,the mix of energies was also different  -- the serious energies merging with the spirited ones:) Mmm... It was not as `nerve-wracking' (the subtle challenges of yoga-teaching:)  as I thought it would be....   In fact, it was real, super fun!! Now, now, I don't know if my students there think that way too:)

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