AYS Philadelphia: Final Post

The final class was mysore style, in a very full room.  After consulting with Sarah Durney, David’s student and assistant teacher (she has a wonderful blog of her own here), I practiced first series up until baddha konasana, then 2nd series up to vrischikasana.  David had said that we could cut 1st series short to leave energy for the 2nd series poses that we had worked on, and she said that the hip opening from kurmasana and supta kuramasana would be beneficial.

Of course the difficulty of a workshop format like this is that there is no time for muscle recovery.  Also I confess that post Christmas I was not at an all time low weight or anything, so that brief moment of catching a finger in Mari D that happened before Christmas was certainly not happening this weekend.  Still, it was a beautiful practice.  I did not get the assists that I wanted, but I did get 2-3 assists that I really needed.

First, my chauturanga.  I thought I had fixed this but my shoulders still dip down and David pointed this out again on Sunday.  This is probably why my shoulders are basically sore all the time to the point that I wake up with pain sometimes.  Second, I thought my krounchasana wasn’t bad because on a good day I can touch my nose to my shin, but he pointed out that my hips were not square.  Way way not square in fact.  I had no idea.  There was a woman right next to me working on third series, so I had to move out of the way in awe as she jumped back from amazing arm balances.  Not a bad problem to have at all.

But here’s the thing.  There’s this little thing called ego, you see, and it didn’t get what it wanted.  I practiced up to scorpion and it was my best ever.  I wanted hail marys and hallelujah’s.  By that point I wanted a god damn string band to celebrate, but no one said a thing, and then I moved on to finishing poses and savasana.  Sigh.  There was a talk later which I missed.  I had a plane to catch and I needed to eat, but mostly I didn’t want to sit in a crowded room and I didn’t want to rush.

That’s quite a practice, just under 2 hours.  What I have to come to understand is how it affects me so powerfully on every level.  You can’t expect to just walk into Dunkin Donuts afterwards and not freak out a little.  I walked in and out of at least 3 establishments that didn’t have the right energy.  Too many people, food with no prana left, blaring fluorescent lights and ugly colors.  Outside was definitely better, but I’m not a city girl so even that requires some processing.  I walked 10 blocks to Reading Market to find it closed.  Just as well, it really wasn’t my scene.  But I wanted to find a small gift for my husband.  Failed.  So many things I would have loved to do but energy and time did not allow.  Finally I found a small restaurant serving breakfast that had real paintings on the wall and wasn’t crowded.  It was nice, and I drew the sketch above from memory.

This is inside the main studio.  There is also a small room for finishing poses, and even a shower.  I look forward to going back, next time perhaps just to join in the daily mysore classes for a couple of days.  Meanwhile, I’ve got a lot to work on this year.  I overheard 2 women in the hostel talking about the benefits of various forms of exercise, and whether or not they should take up this or that activity at the gym or whatnot.  I was so grateful for this practice, to know where I am going and have some tools to get there.  For me it is art in motion, and feeds my spirit as it takes care of my body.  Thank you David!  And thank also all of my teachers, Sue Pentland, David Swenson, David Magone, Robert Moses, and the teachers who came before like SKPJ and Krishnamacharya.  Namaste!

 

 

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