Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where Am I Again?

It's about 3.40am and I've been up for an hour already. Must be a case of jetlag. Or moving stress. Or a general Where-the-heck-am-I-now syndrome. Insomniac. Insane in the membrane. I have KLF's song that goes "aaaaaall bound for moomoo land" playing in my head on repeat. Just that phrase of the song on repeat coz I dunno how the rest of the song goes. WTF?!?!

Hello from Singapore.

I was in town today, and it was a surreal experience. Like I had a case of dejavu. But wait. It wasn't dejavu. I had literally been in the same place in oh say about a week ago? I felt like I was in an episode of Twin Peaks or something.

I finally went to James' shala this morning. Oh wait, that's yesterday morning now, right? Yes, Wednesday morning.

And because I haven't had a full, regular practice in about a week and a half, I told him I was just gonna start with the Primary series and see how I feel. I've been on my mat almost everyday that I've been in Amsterdam, but I've just been doing short forms, 30 - 45mins worth of practice. Lots of forward bends and shoulderstands. It just felt like what I needed.

James said "Even if you feel like you can go on after the Primary series, don't. Just stop. You might feel OK now, but not tomorrow. Just do Intermediate from tomorrow instead." I take it as: Don't be a hero, just ground and restore. I really love this practice. It's so methodical. And it helps so much in a time of mad moving around.

I finished the full Primary series and was surprised how quickly one's stamina can go. Just like that. I mean, it took a bigger amount of effort to get through the series than usual. And it's not like I've even stopped doing a full practice for THAT long!! I could still "do" everything and get the binds and stuff, but my dropbacks and standing up from dropping back were absolute shocking. I haven't done these in oh say, about one week? (That's IT?! Such a difference in one week?!)

Standing up from the backbends was a MAJOR effort. I ended up hauling myself up by pretty much throwing myself forward to the point where I was running away from my mat when I stood up. Completely WRONG. Either that, or I ended up on my knees.

OH WELL. Tomorrow is another practice. I'm starting to ache in all the weird places now. And I have to be up for practice in... 2 hours. HAHAHA.

He pretty much left me to my own devices except after my 3 horrible attempts at dropbacks, he came to me and told me to dropback again, but this time keeping my hands in prayer in front of chest, then extend them in prayer as I'm going down, and just dropback with extended arms in prayer hands till the fingertips touch the floor. Then immediately come back up again, and make sure I don't put any weight at all in the hands or fingertips when I touch the floor (with prayer hands all the way). He was of course holding my legs firm and grounding the whole time.


The first one was awkward - I was figuring out what the heck was going on and what I was "supposed" to be doing. Plus, there's also trusting that he'd hang onto me the whole time. The second time my rotated pelvis really felt majorly off, but James said "So what? Just extend through the chest, don't think about your pelvis." And the 3rd one felt like a beautiful opening. And my THIGHS. Them burning thighs.

I asked him what the point of that exercise was, where was I supposed to feel it? He replied "Well where did you feel it?" I said "My thighs". Then he replied "Then that's where you're supposed to be working."

Oh. So logical. Haha. I'm just concerned with the "right" way of doing it, but the point is the "right" way is different for different bodies. Depending on where you need to work harder. Er... I think?

There is something to be said about practising in a space with other people, though. Group energy is really helpful in getting you through a practice... I'm dreading the thought of returning back to Amsterdam and facing the living room (with shag carpet) on my own. So I'm just lapping up the time I've got here in a shala, with a teacher and with the group energy.

For now, the kitty-cat at home's keeping me company. It's nice to be in the company of a cat again too.


  1. Isn't it incredible how the poses and stamina just go? In, like, a WEEK?? It's been my privilege to be learning about this since December. :)

    I'm glad you're in the hands of a good teacher while you're there. Enjoy, and take care!

  2. What a ride!, my goodness... what an adventure... glad to hear you are taking it slow, and surrendering to what IS... :-)

  3. Just got home from yoga practice after a total of 2 hours sleep last night. Erm... let's just say that it seemed like a good idea at the time but WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?

    Susan - yeah, this is totally testing my "surrender" skills. I can't believe I built my practice up till a certain point and now it feels like it's slipping away...

    Claudia - as you can tell... surrendering to the current state my practice/ body is in is a little harder for me to come to terms with than moving my life around the world.



  4. But what a week you've had... be gentle with yourself, you're doing great. A week of slacking off and resting is one thing, a week of moving 2 gazillion times and hauling all that stuff around, plus travel and stress about your visa- well, I would say that might have something to do with how your practice felt!

    Hope you catch up on sleep soon!


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