Monday, April 22nd – After a really needed day off yesterday, this morning it was time to start a new week of Ashtanga Yoga practice at Tattva Yogashala in Rishikesh.
While waking up, my body was still tired of last week intense 6-days-in-a-row practice… or was it the several kilometres I walked yesterday all around? Well, in any case, I wasn’t rushing to the shala 🙂
I laid down the mat and warmed up for about 10minutes when Kamal called us to sit in padmasana: this is the way he starts the Mysore classes, bringing focus on the breath and than singing the mantra all together before everybody goes with its own rythm.
Unexpectedly, once I started, I felt light, flexible and… focused! It always happens to me when I’m practising in a new place that, on the very first days, I get to a certain extent distracted by the curiosity to see what’s happening around: that was not the case this morning! Adjustments were as usual intense but I could manage them quite nicely. Then the unforeseen…
I was taking my time getting into lagu vajrasana when Kamal came by and sit in front of me.
He helped me 3 times to get a deeper arch when he said: ‘Kapot’.
I couldn’t move…
He added: ‘bring your hands near the head’.
He helped me to bring the hands on my heels and than he gave me a special adjustment for 3 times: while keeping my hips tight with his knees, he used his hands to lift myself a bit so my head could come off the floor, not touching the mat any longer. Each time the backbending was deeper and when he finally released me, my head was nearer to my heels… at least that was the feeling I got, as I must admit that I didn’t realize much about what was happening.
I didn’t got the impression all that lasted long, but once finished I had to go to child pose for a while, and thanked secretly the young lady who was assisting in the shala today for coming over and briefly massage my back. But it was not only a matter of stretching the spine… I was lying there on the mat, feeling a complete void within myself. There were no emotions (contrarily to Friday ‘tip-top’ experience), no thoughts, just a complete silence within… something I have experienced only in meditation.
Then it was time to keep the sequence going. It went on regularly till drop-back… Here another surprise!
I was standing in front of my mat getting ready for next drop-back when Kamal came to me again and sit behind me on the mat with the legs half bent and said: ‘drop with your hands on my knees’.
I did it and than… up.
‘Again’, he said.
When my head went back, I realised this time his legs were straight on the mat.
He helped my hands to find his knees and once there… ‘walk to my ankles’.
Once there, ‘go up’.
I did all of it without thinking, trusting I could do what he was telling me.
And than, to finish it all, it was again ‘tip-top’ time.
Now that my asana practice is finished, I still feel like ‘void’, in the Eastern meaning of this word, that is to say totally ‘full’… I can’t think of anything, I had a schedule for the day but I cannot be bothered with it, I just want to be, I just want to stay…
And this is how I got to stare at the rich smoky spirals made by the burning incense, puja to Lord Ganesha, for more than 10 minutes, enjoying every twist of it, the way it is different each and every instant, the way it raises and lowers and mixes with the air all around… while feeling the bliss…