Since my body's been kinda sorta used to waking up at 4.45am from the past couple of weeks for Sharath's workshop, I figure I might as well keep this up while I've got the momentum going. I've averaged about 4 - 5 times mysore practice a week at a shala, but interested to see how I can keep this up for 6 days a week. (EEEEEEEK!)
The only thing I've got going is that my body feels both stronger and more open now, and that's enough to keep me going (now I understand why you people keep saying 6 days a week is actually easier on the body)... I've just always thought it'd be too taxing on the body, that I'd have to give it a rest, since I'd ache every couple of days. Surprise surprise... I only ached on day 2 & 3 of the first week of his workshop, but since then it's been all good. Ohhhhhh. I think I get it now.
Since taking a month off for a teacher training intensive last year, I decided that every year afterwards, I'd dedicate a few weeks to some sort of Svadhyaya, self-study. Last year's intensive was great in that all I did for a month was eat, sleep, breathe yoga and nothing else. I had that time to reflect.
This year, my Svadhyaya was Sharath's 2-week workshop. It was interesting having to weave this into the rest of "real life". In a way, that's what "real yoga" is about, innit? Living it. Putting it into practice in real life. Carrying on, off the mat. (maybe next year's intensive will be finally going to Mysore?) :)
Writing about it has definitely helped in this self-reflection, and strangely enough it's brought more awareness to my practice as well. I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments - advice, feedback, shared experiences... you have also been a part of my "Sharath experience". I don't think I would've gotten as much out of it if I hadn't blogged about it and read all the different opinions you have shared. So... Thank YOU!
The first practice I've had post-Sharath was at our new shala. It was a breath of fresh air on every level. It's nice to be in a new space with old, familiar faces. It's also nice to finally have a bit more room between mats! (way less distracting when you don't need to think about how not to hit the person next to you!) It was also nice to be back to a Mysore-style self-practice, after going through 2 weeks of a led class.
Today's practice had a rhythmic groove to it. I started out reciting his Sanskrit counts in my head, but this slowly dropped off to just the sound of my Ujjayi breathing. Long inhales and exhales. Something felt in sync on an internal level. I was truly flowing through a moving meditation today.
I almost squealed with joy when it came to Supta Kurmasana. Teacher helped to bring left leg over my head, and I got more of my left arm through, way more than I ever have... when she brought my right leg over and I scooped my right arm under, my fingers miraculously found each other. For the past 2 weeks I'd been struggling to make this finger-connection on my own, and even though I still needed an assist to fully bind both hands together (I only managed a mini 3-finger lock on my own), I recognize this as the first step in coming close to a bind on my own. My body actually felt a sense of openness even within this tightly-bound cocoon. YAY!
So... it was a good one. Surprisingly, not tired. And definitely more strength. If anything this practice is teaching me, it's... PATIENCE (something I struggle with). Yes, I'm of the instant gratification generation - I want it... NOW!
I know I can't expect to go from zero to hero immediately. But I can feel a difference already after only 2 weeks of methodically grinding away. So... OK Sharath & Guruji... I'm sold!
Practice, practice, practice.