I don’t remember when I came across the word ‘jugalbandi’ for the first time. Until now I thought the word meant a collaboration. Before writing this blog I thought I should probably check the meaning and found that it literally means ‘entwined twins’. The word is used to refer to a collaboration between two artists, usually a duet between two solo artists.
I’ve attended a few jugalbandis in the past and enjoyed them immensely. There is magic when great artists come together. They bring their art and ‘entwine’ it with the art of another artist. And it creates magic. It’s not only a mingling of art, craft, technical excellence but also a mingling of hearts, souls and great minds.
If you go to yoga class and take a look around you will see many things. Lithe bendy bodies and also not so lithe bendy bodies. People straining to touch their toes, and people balancing on their fingertips. But there is a common purpose that brings us together: to keep our bodies and minds healthy.
Which is why every once in a while I love to train and practice with different people. I came across Dayananthan on Instagram one day and was blown away by his asana practice. So I ‘followed’ him. And to my surprise he followed me back and said he finds my practice inspiring. I was thrilled. More thrilled when he invited me over to his studio Nrityog to practice together.
Teaching yoga (or maybe teaching anything) can get lonely. You’re either attending class, teaching class or practicing. You have few ‘work friends’, don’t go out for drinks after work and have no team-building retreats. So it’s always refreshing to find teachers who reach out.
I arrived at Nrityog early on a Saturday. Dayananthan was finishing a class. He is really as awesome as his Instagram profile makes it out to be. We chatted a bit during which I showed him the postures that were my ‘goal asanas’ such as this one and this one. We started stretching and decided to work towards the ek pada sirsasana. I’ve been working on the pose for years and was hoping he could give me new insight into it.
As we stretched I got to know him a bit better. He started Nrityog with his wife who is also a dancer. The studio is open, airy, full of plants. The vibe is calm, much like Dayananthan himself. He freelances at other studios too, which he loves because he gets to meet more people that way. So you can catch him around in different part of Bangalore.
In about 35-45 minutes he was ready to tackle the leg behind head category of asanas. My muscles were screaming, but I was game.
I look forward to practicing more with him once I’m back in Bangalore. The Yoga Jugalbandi.
Meanwhile, if you’re in Bangalore do attend class at Nrityog!!!