You could almost read that title as "Santa is coming to town!"
Well, that's what it feels like for us Ashtangis in Sydney anyways.
Photo credit here
He's doing a week in Bali from 19th Oct, and then moves here for a 2-week workshop from 27th Oct - 8th Nov. That's 6 - 8am, 6 days a week for those 2 weeks. I've signed up for the full 2 weeks of led Primary (in the second week, he's doing led Intermediate too, right after the Primary class). Our shala's organizing the Bali workshop as well, so lots of hardcore regulars will be doing the full 3 weeks in both Bali & Sydney. (it kinda makes me feel a bit less mad/ jittery for signing up for the full 2 weeks here... the fact that there are people who'll be doing all 3 weeks in 2 different countries!)
Got my pass last week, YEEHAR! It has started building up the excitement/ anticipation now. Short of going to Mysore, India, to practice at the hallowed KPJAYI with him (one day soon, this will happen!), this is the next best thing. A twittershala mate who did his 2-week NY workshop called it "Rangaswamy's House of Pain". Heh.
You can feel the buzz in the shala starting already. This morning, apart from us regulars, a lot of new faces popped up to practice. I thought it was coz it was Sunday morning, and the weather's starting to get nicer (y'know, just like how people start heading to the gym to work on their "summer body"). But a friend rightly pointed out that people are probably gearing up for his trip here.
We are usually pretty packed, 5 in a row with about 2 inches between mats, but this morning we had to squeeze SIX mats in a row. There was literally 1cm between each mat. (Teacher said "just like the good old days in India")
I was right next to the wall and crashed into it while rolling around in Garbha Pindasana, and my kind neighbour was hanging out in Downdog while waiting for me to finish rolling over her mat, underneath her! How could you not crack up at that! There were so many people, everything was steaming up inside the shala from the collective heat-generation. Even the walls were dripping with sweat/ condensation! Yeah, sounds kinda gross, but it was lovely feeding off the group energy.
To top it all off, an added bonus to this morning's practice: a live kirtan singer with his harmonium was singing as we practiced. It really helped to turn your focus inwards, especially in such a jam-packed situation. I took a picture from a few Sundays ago, when he was also playing.
It is pure magic to practice with live kirtan... it's like you're being held throughout the practice and all the chatter in your mind really comes to a place of stillness. At some points I found I even lost count of how many breaths I'd already taken coz I was just lost in the soothing dulcet tones of the music and his voice!
Ah, blissful Sunday. I am grateful.