Thursday, June 02, 2011

In class and this time it is me!

Last week, I quarrelled with my personal muay thai instructor for keeping me at the same level and not letting me overextend myself. Since I am a woman, and learning alone, I often have to forgo the conditioning that comes from getting kicked and butted in a class, esp with those who have no form -- these types can cause a lot of damage, I assure u!..But the thing, it quickens your reflexes in guarding, defending and retreating. Plus conditioning the muscles and bones to take the blows.
Though even now, I know when I kick, the guys are very surprised. I am always very polite. I warn them gently that it is going to hurt. They don't believe it one bit, since I apparently don't have the `killer-instinct' look (whatever that is, chicklet-chewing chick look??) . So, it is very satisfying for me to see them yelp with pain when my foot grazes their thighs in a slapping, sweeping  kick, my  foot neatly turned back, my shin bone contacting their unprepared thigh. (I have my own punching bag... and for long, my ankles had that dark, unkempt look from kicking it,  that I did not bother about at all, till I realised that everybody trying the scorpion in my class had to look at my awful foot, before kicking up. So, I have tried to  spruce that ankle up, if not to elegance, but at least to looking clean:)
But as a rule, I get bored in a general kick-boxing class because most people do not treat the art with the seriousness it deserves, especially women who treat it as a fitness routine!! Or as an excuse  to fall on the guys!! Really, it is quite embarrassing to be in such classes.   The only last general class I went, the boys held their crotches giggling nervously, to indicate, that they were worried I would kick them!! :) But heavens, who goes to a kickboxing class to cuddle up (so many, at the last count!!)...

So, I  got my instructor worked up enough to give me some kicks and jabs and punches. So, my forearm swelled up beautifully, precisely at the spot where I have to place it for the scorpion. From a red-outlined wide map, it developed a bumpy road look because in the next class also I got punched in the same place (again, again, and again... such self-flaggellation!!: )So, it turned a sickly yellow, with a bump half-inch out in front which hurt even in the headstand:)  The thighs and above-knee spots also got some spectacular bruises .. At the last count, all of seven bruises, huge ones, including some painful ones at my shin. But the interesting thing about these bruises, is that though technically they are meant to last for two weeks, they disappeared in less than a week. The only reason they are stubbornly there even for that one week is  because I get punched/kicked there again. The same thing happens with my shoulder, which goes into an inflamed mode when I overdo the punching.. Then in the night, it freezes into a pain zone..  but the thing is, the minute I get back on the mat, the pain has receded and gone!!  And it seems to me, what the doctors say about resting out pain is a lie... because whether it is my bruise or my inflamed joints (from my overenthusiastic knockabout) the pain always goes completely away when I initiate movement. Not just any movement, but truly hardcore movement -- with even pressure applied against the spot -- seems to just sends the pain scurrying off! Nursing the pain,  I firmly believe, would aggravate it...(That is my core belief -- which may explain why some of my students think I am an authoritarian, unsympathetic teacher:)
(See that bruise in the forearm, towards the elbow,  that was before I got punched the second time there, after which it became a `nice' yellow')

So, now feeling the need for a calming yoga class I had enrolled in a yoga class for myself... and today was my first day. .. I intend to do walk-ins once, every week.

My first class, after more than a year-and-half  (when I was at the ashram, with Prahlada instructing us)  felt like heaven.  Shavasana ahead of the class. Long holds in each pose. Reaching deep into a pose, involuting and meditating in a pose without some one ringing my home  phone (how does a new number get so many wrong-number callers, esp when I am meditating??!!) or the door bell, or my mind gadding about  thinking of what to get ready for tomorrow, or of my umpteen deadlines that needed to have  been done yesterday.  So, in a class finally -- to forget all that, have someone else giving me instructions. leading me through the paces. . Winding up with yoga nidra.  God, I needed that so bad!!

I like being a yoga student so much:)

Rather a student, than a teacher...

Any day!

4 comments:

Anila said...

Shameem,

You go girl!!Go kick their butts! :-)

On a different note, when you go to a yoga class as a student- how do you keep away from being a 'I'm a teacher myself. And i think you are teaching wrong' attitude to the instructor? I've seen some other 'teacher students' correcting the instructor openly. In fact, I have one such know it all 'teacher student' in the current class that i go to (i'm a student), and her open corrections and criticisms of our teacher are kind of getting on the nerves of the rest of us . Any ideas? :-)

Regrds
Anila

Shameem Akthar said...

Oh, for me it is very easy. Even in a class, I think some of my students do things far ahead of me. So I have no issues with all that. And for me an instructor up there, especially if that is a giving instructor is god (in terms of attitude I mean, and that is a subtle thing and I would only go to a class with someone like that in front of me)and then I am not an instructor at all, just someone who is very keen to follow the rules. Even more, I think, if the thought comes in that I am an instructor too, it is only in that I tell myself, hey, u should be able to do that even better than how u are executing it!! I am very much in a zone, in any class. If for any reason I inform the instructor beforehand I am an instructor, it is only because sometimes I find other instructors do not like having instructors of the same genre in their class (this is usually the case with those who are the not-so-giving types, who worry the student-instructor may `steal' their poses :)

I enjoy being in class and being a student... I can never think of telling a teacher, how they should do a pose!!! Whatever.. but I know what u mean, I have faced that in my class .. This woman who does not do the headstand, having done a year's course with a local institute which is rather floppy with its poses, telling loudly that the headstand is a dangerous pose which is why they were not taught that... very disruptive behavior. But such students get judged for their timidity, not their knowledge and even that, though I shut that up fast enough, no longer gets under my skin...

pv said...

which class u joined? hows kalari? why dont u wear safety pads

Shameem Akthar said...

kalari sweetie... but most of it is yoga, u know:) and what nonsense, safety pads!! have u jumped with them -- u slide ...