Monday, November 23, 2009

Saraswati: Day 2 (!)

OK, I'm going to make all you non-Sydney Ashtangis jealous now.

It's true.

Saraswati & Sharmila were both in da house AGAIN this morning! WOOOT!!

We've been kinda spoilt, innit? First Sharath, then the KPJ School opening, and now apparently she's here for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!!

I'm usually one of the earlier ones to arrive (I'm subject to the public transport timetable, so would rather be early than late), so after setting down my mat, I realized no one else had started yet. Everyone was kind of tentative and there was a weird energy in the room.

So I walked over to one of the Teacher's Assistants who was oberving today and asked him if Saraswati was gonna be here again this morning and he said "Yes". That's when he told me she'd be here for 2 weeks. Couple of the other Intermediate cool kids then asked him if they could go back to practising 2nd series rather than Primary. He seemed surprise... "Yeah, it's a Mysore class, do what you're practising, why are you back to Primary?" (umm... coz she told them to?)

Then after class, I heard a conflicting account from someone else - that yes, she's here for 2 weeks but not teaching for the full 2 weeks. Hrmph.

So folks, never thought I'd ever quote Forrest Gump, but this yoga practice is turning out to be like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get!

And such is human nature... after practice, I had a quick chat with some of the yogis in the stairwell, and while everyone is grateful for the all the wonderful new Ashtanga opportunities and experiences we've had in the past month (Sharath, new school, Saraswati & Sharmila), everyone is starting to miss the routine now. There were some grumbles that "I want my regular practice back!" ..."Everything's been so topsy-turvy!" ..."So many great new experiences but it's enough now! I want the routine back!"

Aren't people insane?! ...always wanting what isn't there. But I think that explains that weird energy in the room at the start of this morning too. The hesitation of... What to expect next?

Quick practice update: At Kurmasana, I decided to huff & puff my way into Supta K on my own again. Then Saraswati, who was assisting my neighbour, said "You do Kurmasana, I come later."

Cool. Another assisted bind!

She definitely does it differently from my teacher. See Gledespiken's comment from yesterday. That's a good explanation of how my teacher usually gets me into the bind (although it's left first, then right, coz then later you hook the right foot over on top). It's that initial lifting of the leg over the shoulder that helps get more of an opening, then she binds the arms behind the back. And then after that, she gets the legs fully behind the head, and you hook your feet over each other.

Saraswati just goes straight to binding your arms first, then hooking legs over. It feels a lot harder on the legs this way - I haven't been able to properly get them behind my head like I usually can when my teacher does this. Oh well, different teachers, different binding styles. It's just a matter of getting used to it and working with it.

In the lift up to Dwi pada transition to Tittibhasana, she kept her hands on my shoulders (she did this yesterday too but I was a bit perplexed at what she was doing that for) but figured she probably wanted me to lean forward more in Bakasana to get that jumpback. So I leaned into her today all the way through the jumpback. And she said "Good!" :)

This morning, one of the assistants had put out a bottle of water next to Saraswati's chair. When I got up from Savasana and looked over, the bottle of water had been replaced by a takeaway coffee cup.


I wonder if she'll like these vampires and their... Orange Mocha Frappuccino!!


  1. Hey, seems like a blessing from here. Can't imagine whingeing, but then people are funny about their rituals, aren't they? especially ashtangis....and I'm probably the worst offender of all!

    I've heard Saraswati's adjustments are amazing (and very strong) - enjoy while you can, I say!

  2. Ashtangis and their rituals? Nooooooo, really? ;p

    Yeah, I think this year's a great year for being an Ashtangi in Sydney, but at the same time, I can also understand what they're whining about. It's also this whole "getting used to another teacher" thing... It's good to shake things up a bit, get you out of your comfort zone, but I keep having to remind myself "it's just a different way of doing things". Y'know, that it's not a "right way" or "wrong way" of doing it.

    At the moment, it feels like her adjustments are super-strong, almost rough, and I'm not sure if I'm connecting with them yet. I'm used to adjustments happening in time to your inhales & exhales, and she doesn't seem to do that so it kinda messes with my breath and timing and throws me off. Again, this could just be a "getting used to something different" thing again. So... who knows? :)


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