Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sharath in Sydney: Week 2, Day 6 (Last Day!)

A few people have emailed, telling me they've tried to comment here but don't seem to be able to get anything posted. I can't figure out why yet, but a friend suggested maybe it's coz if you want to leave your name, Blogger might require you to also leave your website in the comment form. You can just put in your Twitter or Facebook profile page web link if you haven't got a Blogger profile (if you've turned on your privacy settings in Facebook, no one else can see your profile page unless you're friends with each other. So it'll just bring people to a log in page, not your actual profile page.)

It was both sad and exciting waking up for practice today... Sad coz well, DUH! It's the last day of the workshop. Exciting coz our teacher had organized a breakfast spread for us after practice by the terrace today. I like the social element of going for yoga class as well, but all too often especially on a weekday, everyone has to rush off to start their work day. So it's only on weekends that people have time to catch up. Finally, I could also legitimately whip out my camera again. :p

Today's practice... I got one final assist from Sharath today! Yippee! It was in Urdvha Mukha Paschimottasana. He gave an approving "Mmm" the deeper I got my face squished between my legs. I suppose that's the closest I've got to any kind of Paschimo squash that I've so missed in the last 2 weeks. :)

Then it kind of went downhill in the finishing postures.

Sirsasana today was shockingly shit. (Oops. I can swear here right?) Serves me right for quoting Yoda in yesterday's post. ("Do or don't do there is no try"?! WTF?) Even by my standards, only holding for TWO counts is abysmal. I couldn't focus at all - kept fussing with trying to find the right spot on the crown of my head, then my hairclips kept digging into my scalp, then I couldn't quite feel how far back my legs were and if I was lined up "straight". Horrible. I went back up a few more times but couldn't hold past more than 1 or 2 counts each time. I was doing so well until today. What The Eff?!?

But probably because I wasn't tired out from Sirsasana, I was able to hold legs at 90 degrees for all 10 counts today.

Uthpluthi wasn't so great either. Really couldn't focus properly. Then Sharath walked up to me and said "Why you cheating?" OH GAWWWD. I promise I swear I wasn't CONSCIOUSLY cheating! I had actually hooked my left foot behind my right arm! So much for bandha awareness, I was trying to get more of a boost through hooking my foot round the arm rather than using good old bandhas! So of course after this I was having more of a laugh at myself than concentrating on Uthpluthi itself.

Sharath was in a good mood today, making lots of jokes. At one point, he said "Don't hurry! Why you hurry? Are you hungry?" (referring to the breakfast that was being prepared outside). After class today, my teacher was thanking a list of people who had helped make the past 3 weeks (including Bali) possible, and she thanked the person who had delivered food from an Indian restaurant to Sharath everyday. Sharath chirped "He saved the guru. My wife will be happy!"

Call me crazy, but I'm waking up again at the crack of dawn tomorrow to practice at the new shala. It's moved closer to the beach, and tomorrow will be the first day of practice there and I want to be a part of it. I'd heard rumours that it's actually going to be an official KPJ Yoga School. And fer shizzle it's official... Sharath & my teacher are in charge, with her being responsible for running the place. Damn! I feel so close to the source. (But of course I still want to go to Mysore.)

I am very interested to see how the last 2 weeks will change my Mysore practice. I definitely feel much stronger (physically and mentally) and amped to keep up the momentum I've gained in the past 2 weeks. Observing the Intermediate class has definitely given me inspiration as well.

But enough with the sappiness, it's time to share (legitimate) pictures!
WARNING: This is me post-yoga, no make-up and keeping it real (the bare, naked truth still shocks me). But you've been given fair warning.

Sharath is my Homeboy. (they should make that into a teeshirt)

(What you can't see is I'm holding a squashed paper cup of chai tea in my left hand, and it was dripping down my left foot!)

What I found kinda awkward was: do I just stand next to him? Do I put my arm around him? It seemed very 1930s to just stand side-by-side to pose for a photo, but too forward to sling my arm around his shoulders... so I put my arm lightly on his back. What's the protocol for taking pictures with your guru again? HAHAHA! (Am I the only one who over-thinks these things?)

Speaking of tee-shirts, these were the last of them being sold.

I thought this was really funny. To Vinko, Sharath is his Rockstar.

We had coconuts! (next to croissants) A few volunteers woke at 2.30am to start baking muffins... the spread included muesli with fresh fruit, chai tea, muffins and croissants.

A few of the regulars at my shala.

Thank goodness this was the only time cam-whoring that I haven't pulled a Zoolander (about 90% of the pictures tagged of me on Facebook are of me in a "Blue Steel" moment).

That pretty much wraps up the 2 weeks practicing with Sharath, folks! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks for all of your comments, it has certainly helped me process the past couple of weeks too. In fact, I've got a good mind to turn this into more of a yoga blog than it has been in the past coz I'm loving the sense of community I've been getting from these posts... still thinking about it. Feel free to comment! :)


  1. Hey J, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience from our workshop with our Homeboy, truly enjoyed it. It has really helped me have a replay of it in my head.

    Also, thanks for thinking of me and saving me a spot everytime. :D

    I hope you've had your little rest today as tomorrow we're back on the mat at the NEW Shala! Yippeee!

  2. Hi Jaime!
    I've enjoyed your posts. And I love the photos! I appreciate your posting about your Sharath experiences - I've learned a lot about yoga, and about you as well, from reading your posts. I hope you'll keep posting. I love your writing style.

    Yogically yours,


  3. Jaime I'm so sad that Sharath is finished in Sydney for now, because it means no more daily posts from you! I've so loved reading these, and loved seeing everyone's comments (which has led me to discover some great blogs I'd never seen before) so pleeeeease keep up the yoga blogging! I was also really interested too to hear you say writing it up has helped make sense of it as I'm contemplating whether to blog or not while I'm on my next retreat. I can't decide if it would disrupt the sense of mental stillness that I got last time through (all but) abandoning technology for 2 weeks - I'm still undecided but it's good to hear that this has really helped you, because I think a lot of people have really got a lot out of it too! xx

  4. Hey guys! Thanks for your lovely feedback, I appreciate it loads! ...I dunno why I started writing these reports. I suppose it seemed like it would be such a great experience to share since it's not often an opportunity like this comes up, to practice with Sharath. And I found myself interested in other people's reports from his other workshops.

    Interestingly, through writing about it, it has made me pay more attention to my own practice. A lot of it is quite an internal thing - stuff that I feel within... but having to articulate it, find the words to describe it, has actually made me look at my practice from another angle. Not that it's good or bad, but I think for me and the way I process things, it's definitely made the experience more tangible. And made me more aware in my practice. Thanks for being a part of the experience too! xxx

  5. Hi there! I am late to post, but thanks again for the in-depth coverage, so to speak. I will agree with everyone in saying that I really enjoyed reading your blog throughout the workshop. I am interested in hearing what your practice was like this morning too! Tired? Excited to be in the new KPJ school?

    Also, I liked that you added photos of yourself with Sharath (homeboy!) as well as the venue and the luscious food! Hah, I found myself in one of the people-photos, too.

    All the best to you.

  6. ANNE! I was looking for you & Renata, wanted to take a shot with "the 2 ladies in front of me". But when I came round looking for you guys I think you'd already left. :(

    Thanks for being part of my "Sharath experience"... hope to see you around soon, if not in Sydney, maybe in Mysore? Hehe.

  7. You're gorgeous!!! I would love to look like that post-yoga, make up or not!

    Really great photos, and a fun wrap up! I'm so dead tired right now, otherwise I'd be giving you the multi-paragraph comment! I'll come back to you tomorrow after some zzzz's.

  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts impressions and insights. You echoed so much many of us were thinking and also gave good food for thought. You conference notes were fantastic as there was so much to take in I forgot some important points Sharath raised until I read them again on your blog.

    Sorry Anne and I missed the photo op with you on the last day but we will be camera ready at the KPJ Shaka official opening.

  9. Oops sorry meant to write KPJ Shala.

  10. I'm back, with enough sleep to make sense now.

    Your observation that keeping a blog keeps you connected to a community really resonated with me. Between the people I practice with who read my blog, and those who I don't know in person who read my blog, I feel a ton of support. It's a shared experience even thought it's also intensely personal.

    Just looking at your photo of all your beautiful shala-mates, I felt a connection- because I have those same shala-mates on the other side of the world! Pretty cool...

  11. Renata! You got the comments working, yay! See you at the end of the month at the official opening! ...Today, there were workmen drilling downstairs while I was in Savasana. My Savasana was almost as short as the ones Sharath gave us.

    THANK YOU LIZ! :) :) :)'s noice to get to a place where I've made connections with shala-mates again. Especially since we've moved around a bit in the past few years. It helps to feel "settled" into a place.

  12. Mmmmmm....coconuts! Such an abundance of riches in coconuts! I miss them so....


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