Saturday, November 21, 2009

KPJ, In Da House!

*Here's where the cheezy DJ goes... "Make some noiii--iiise!"* (if there'd been a cheezy DJ in da house, that is).

Well... at least the spirit of KPJ was in da house and alive & well today. (How many "in da house"s was that again?!)

Yeah - it was the official opening of the KPJ school at Bondi Beach y'all. Yee-har!

A few people (read: strangers) came up to me today and said "Hey! It's you with that blog!" now I'm thinking twice about whether I should've written that cheezy Yee-har phrase in the previous paragraph. Ugh. Or maybe I shouldn't have even written about the crazy-talk that goes on in my head during practice in all the previous posts. Double Ugh.

Thou shalt not self-censor.

Note to self: to remain anonymous, stop with the cam-whoring (too late now, innit) or suck it up and just get over yourself. It's only my internal monologue that you're all privvy to now. Dearie me.

Anyhoo... the whole school & retail store are looking GORGEOUS!! And amazing how the store apparently came together in a flash... People who drove past last night said construction was still going on late into the night and didn't look close to being done. But you couldn't even tell any of that at all this afternoon when the doors opened for all the invited guests.

A coupla drummers sat outside getting people into the mood with their awesome beats.

I dutifully carted around trays of food in an attempt at helping out - papaya salad, spring rolls, chestnut & coconut desserts and drinks. Sorry, no pix of these. Too busy to take photos!

But guess who came? ...the 2 ladies who were practicing in front of me during Sharath's 2-week workshop! YAY! Finally got a picture with them. (A & R, sorry about the lack of flash)

(One of them's decided to start a blog too. Yay! Another Ashtangi blogger. AN%, I can't find your link though, send it to me and I'll link to you here). And yeah... she's also the same person Sharath said "No coffee, no Prana" to as well. SMALL WORLD.

Guess who was the VIP guest of honour? None of us knew this before... Saraswati and her daughter, Sharmila! (Yo, that's Sharath's mama, aka the Guru's daughter, who also teaches, for all you non-Ashtangis)

Surreptitious Saraswati & Sharmila photo-taking in action...

But I took a pic for @Ashtangikali who's practiced with Saraswati before. This one's legit.

(What's weird is, because I hadn't ever met her before let alone practiced with her, I kinda felt it wouldn't be appropriate to ask to take a pic with Saraswati).

A couple of priests led the puja blessing for the school chanting a few mantras. It was quite hypnotic listening to the repetitive melodies. I looked over at Saraswati occassionally, and she was smiling and singing along at some points too. Very cute!

Guess what?!

Midway through the Puja, I saw someone scurry in with 2 takeaway coffees, leaping over people to get to the VIP bench. She was taking them to the Jois' family!

HAHAHAHAHAHA! How classic, especially after my last post?

And in her opening speech, my teacher related delightful stories of Guruji and her close ties with the Jois family. One of them was a coffee story. Hehe. Apparently Amma, Guruji's wife, used to have a pot of strong coffee ready for all the yogis to drink after practice (in the old days in the smaller shala). Apparently Amma said with a strong practice like Ashtanga, they needed strong coffee to keep up.

Heh. I like Amma already. :) :) :)

Another story was about how even though she knew the Jois' family for 20-something years, it took about 7 years before Guruji and her really connected. Apparently for 7 years, he would call her "Amy" (her name's Eileen). Even Sharath would correct him saying "no, she's Eileen". But Guruji would say "no, I know you're Amy".

She would frequently travel around India with the family, and once, Guruji insisted she came along for an opening of a temple and stay for the full 3 days of opening festivities. At the end of it, when they were back in Mysore, Guruji said to her "Amy! Where were you? Why you no come?" Teacher said... "but... I was there for the 3 days like you asked me to!" HAHAHA.

She also announced that Saraswati & Sharmila would be teaching in Monday's mysore class! YIPPEE! How blessed am I to be able to experience this so soon after Sharath's workshop?

Saraswati and Sharmila both also gave really moving speeches. They were both moved to tears when they spoke about how great it was to walk into the shala to see pictures of their father/ grandfather and mother/ grandmother on the walls, seeing how Guruji's legacy of Ashtanga Yoga is being passed on. And also that he had given his blessing for this school, another branch outside of Mysore.

Now, here's a corker for you yoga dorks. No, I mean ASHTANGADORKS.

Eileen and Mark gave a demo of the advanced series!! It's breath-taking strength in action. There was a live band playing kirtan throughout as well. I got a couple of videos, so knock yourselves out!


Duuuuuuuuuude. Check out their transitions. Bandha POWER.

Best part is... after the 20-minute demo, Eileen wasn't even breaking a sweat. Her face was still perfectly matte-powdered. It wasn't in the least shiny!! (?!?!!!) Mark was glistening with sweat. But I suppose it doesn't take much for an average guy to break a sweat. And with a body like that, who's complaining if it was glistening? ;p

And then she announced their line-up of teachers. Between the 8 of them, there's about 130 years of yoga experience. Aiiight.

It's no longer gonna be just Mysore only from 6-9am. It looks like there will be classes on throughout the day!

Mingling in action...

...and then someone else from my shala came up to me and said they just found my blog too. Didn't know whether to be proud or embarrassed (y'know... the "OMG! I know this lunatic! She's from my shala and I practice next to her!" moment). But can I just say... P hung out with Sharath while he was here and her husband even has Sharath's digits! (Am I a Fangirl-SharathSpotter or what? NOT.)

It was kinda cool to see everything coming together. My teacher said every new year for the past 20 years, she would write down that her vision would be to have a yoga studio in Bondi Beach with a retail outlet. It's so cool to see someone's dream become a reality. And even more fabulous being a part of it.

...And somehow I suspect we'll no longer have as much space between mats as we've had for the past couple of weeks. In an unselfish world, that's actually a pretty awesome thing.

Om Shanti.


  1. woah.
    I just finished my own sweat free 3rd series practice. ha ha ha!!!! just kidding.

    I have to come back to this and really read through and soak it all up, but just had to comment right away- you really documented it well! A good weekend blog treat!

    I'll be back...

  2. Awsome, sounds like an amazing opening party. It is inspiring hearing about dreams coming true. Looking forward to watching videos when I get back from London.

  3. It was really great energy last night, having everyone come together to collectively bless the space. (I'd forgotten to mention the priests passed round a tray of flowers, everyone was told to put as much love & blessings into the flowers, and at the end of the Puja, we threw our flowers to the front of the room!)

  4. Once again! Well written and I've truly enjoyed reading the post. It's always good to have something to go back to reminisce... Thanks much for always taking time to blog... Oh and for taking photos =)


  5. What a great run-down of the evening and the photos! Wonderful. I agree the energy was fantastic. So uplifting and joyful, we are blessed to have such amazing teachers in our city. I just loved the puja, such a beautiful way to open the space. And finally, it was great to meet you in person!

  6. awww! I just sat down and really poured over your post- it was a delight to read. What an experience, and what an awesome studio to have in your town! The schedule is incredible! I bet they'll fill up every time slot!

    Can't wait to read about your Monday practice. Have a great time!

  7. Thanks Kelly & Sandra! And lovely to finally meet you too, Sandra. (I still can't believe you've got 2 kids, you look like you're still in school! Thank you, yoga!) ;p

    Liz, it's only Sunday evening and I'm already excited for tomorrow's practice. Mega dork. Heh.

  8. Hey, Skippetty, excellent write-up of the Grand Opening.

    I am looking forward to your write-up of your first practice with Saraswati.

  9. Hey Anne! Where were you this morning? ;p It's done. The post is up.

  10. Hellooo skippetty! I was so excited to discover your blog. I've got a couple of friends who couldn't make it and I know they will love catching up on the opening through your eyes. See you on the mat!!

  11. Hi Skippetty,
    Such a great write up of the evening - I had to leave early as I had other plans I couldn't change which was sad...but I also left knowing that I could still be there by reading your account - thank you! By the way, I think the photo on my camera of the three ladies might be better - as I did have a flash! Will send it to you! And did you ever find out the recipe for that divine lychee honey iced drink - I am obssessed with it!

  12. Kitkat! Were you the one practising in front of me today? You had to be right up by the glass door? *waves* Hello! :)

    Renata... I'm sorry to tell you that drink wasn't honey & lychee. It was just plain old Aloe Vera juice drink that was severely diluted with water & ice (I thought there was rose hip in it, but I think they just put the rose petal in there as decoration only). See here:

    @ashtangikali went out and bought a bottle but says it's extremely sweet right out the bottle and has to be diluted a lot. Hehe.

  13. Oh that's hilarious - thanks so much for clearing that up Skippetty. I am definitely going to go out and get that Aloe Vera Juice today - and thanks for being the test crash dummy Ashtangakali also lovely to meet you on Saturday . Will dilute profusely as reccomended by the drinks fairies...better go and get some roses too so I can recreate it with all its authenticity!

  14. The demos are absolutely inspiring and breath-taking - thank you for sharing those!

  15. Hey Skippetty - too buggered to make it this morning. But I was next to you yesterday (Weds) - and we actually got into the lift together. I'm such a morning-grouch I didn't quite get it together to say hello (sorry).

    Thanks for the inside story on the honey & lychee (that is actually aloe). My niece loved it, so I'm going to get her some more.

    And hopefully I'll see you tomorrow morning!

  16. Hey Kit! I thought that might have been you, but wasn't sure and wasn't gonna risk asking and getting a weird stare back from someone who thought I ws raving mad. Will say Hi next time. ;p

    Danielle - glad you enjoyed it! How's the practice going?

  17. Wow! Sorry I missed this post til now - AWESOME VIDEO! Going to bookmark it and come back when I need some yoga entertainment. LOVE watching such beautiful movement!

  18. Да уж. По поводу коментариев - навеяла на меня где-то услышанная фраза:
    Если вам в дверь ломятся бандиты, попробуйте ломиться в нее с другой стороны. Это озадачит злоумышленников.

  19. Great. Russian spam. There's always a first. I hope you weren't being rude coz that wouldn't be nice, to come on someone else's site and spam in a foreign language. Not to mention that's not fair either.


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