Friday, July 9, 2010

Back On The Mat: A Boring Practice Report

I *FINALLY* dragged my sorry arse outta bed at 6am today to get to the new shala. I had to resort to the old mantra I used in Sydney to get myself outta bed at 4.45am in the middle of winter: "Don't think. Just go. Don't think. Just go. Don't think. Just go."

So I guess compared to 4.45am, I'm having it good here by getting an extra 1hr 15mins of sleep!

This was my first official morning Mysore practice at a shala in Amsterdam. Whoop! Whoop! They've just started morning classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Guess what?

...the teacher was late.


What is it about the Dutch and early mornings that just don't go together?

To her credit, she was only a couple minutes late, but I had that sinking feeling in the pit of my belly... y'know... "Oh no. No class today? What am I gonna do now? Go back to Beige Heaven and practice on my slanted living room floor?"

Turns out I was the only student in class today.


See what I mean about the Dutch and early mornings?

I'm not complaining at all! It was like having a private session all by myself. Since it's Friday and I haven't really been practising much Ashtanga (just a few vinyasa-flow classes now and again)... it was purely Primary series today. I had been dreading this day. Y'know... the first day back on the mat after a looooooooong break from it.

Surprisingly, I wasn't too wiped out and all the binds are still there (YAYYYYYYYYY!)

This teacher is only here during the summer, but I like her. She left me to my own devices a lot of the time, and what impressed me was she left me alone in Utthita Hasta Padangustasana too. There've been many other blog posts by other Ashtangis about how this asana is probably one of the most over-assisted poses, and I agree. Sometimes you just need to be left alone to have time to figure out how it works and how you'll do an asana on your own.

I was expecting she'd come over to hike my leg higher in UHP, but nope, she just sat and observed. I liked that. But then when it came the left side, I got distracted and as I was swinging the leg out to the left, I kept falling over. Then we both started laughing and I said "Too much pressure!" Hehe. I just kept thinking of Susan's comment way back when I realized Beige Heaven's living room floor is slanted on an incline... And Susan mentioned wouldn't it be funny if I got used to practising on a slope, then once on level ground I'd tip over to the left.

Well... That happened today! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

(Dudes, that picture is from an awesome site, Bush Yoga. "Here, you will find the ex-leader of the free world demonstrating a variety of ancient yoga poses." HAHAHA!)

The only other observation about practice today was with dropbacks. I am picking up a nasty bad habit with this. Because I haven't practiced dropbacks all these weeks, I was afraid of bonking my head on the floor. And I've taken to lifting the heels up as I'm going down. I never used to do this before, but coz it makes the descent easier (Look Ma! No need to ground the legs!) and also takes less work in slowing the descent... I've been lazy and cheating.

Also couldn't nail the standing-up-from-backbends. The first attempt I just collapsed back down on the mat. The second attempt, I came up and landed on my knees. The third attempt, I kinda got up but had a major dance around the mat looking for my balance. So... I guess they got better at each attempt and if I'd pushed a fourth time I might have got there. But... Fuck it, it's Friday and my first time back on the mat in a few weeks. GO EASY! (and I'm lazy too). ;p

I just kept thinking of a Twitter-pal's comment on backbends. @ruechel has said "Backbends are like pancakes. The first two are no good." HAHAHA!

By the time I was packing up to go, 2 more students walked in to start their practice. I guess Amsterdammers really prefer a later start to their day.

Have a Happy Friday and get blasted this weekend, everyone! (On Sunday, we will SMASH THEM SPANIARDS. Listen to me, I think football is retarded but I'm getting into the vibe here already.)


  1. I can't believe a city like Amsterdam had no Mysore classes. But as you were the only one there to start with I suppose it shows a lack of demand. Who is the teacher?

    My pancakes are all crap lately!

    Come on you cloggies, about time someone took out the spaniards!

  2. Correction: there were Mysore classes, but only ONE on Wed morning, and the rest were all evening classes from 6pm. And no way I could make those. So it's kinda interesting being in a place that's trying to kickstart a Mysore vibe. :)

    The summer teacher isn't on their schedule, but here are the others: Not certified or authorized by the source, but so what? As long as I get to practice in a group I'm happy. Summer teacher's adjustments today were good. Super gentle, but good. :)

    And Kevin - cloggies is so funny! I prefer the term: Go Oranje!

  3. So are the other students dutch or foreigners?

    Makes a change for the Cloggies not to implode with arguements during a tournament, they have always had the talent, but not the temperament. Edgar David's is commentating here for ITV, he used to be one of the chief trouble makers in the dutch squad, one of the presenters said to him the other night that the reason the dutch are not arguing is becuase you are in the studio!


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