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Lifestyle Yoga

A Yogi in Pune – Day 16

September 16, 2016

I’ve practiced more in these 16 days than I ever have in my life.  In Mysore practice used to be for an hour and a half.  That was for 15 days.  During my teachers’ training at SVYASA we used to have practice for up to 2 – 3 hours a day.  Here we practice for up to 5 hours a day.  Some students even opt to observe classes, so that’s more yoga during the day.  It is intense, it is powerful, detailed, thorough and it’s amazing (I may already have mentioned that before.)    In the past 2 weeks I’ve had time to really work on my asanas.  I’ve also had a chance to see the practice in a different way.  To kind of lift the asana lid and peer into the pot to find the importance and relevance of yoga in our lives.  My own steadily improving practice and watching all kinds of people practice day in and day out.  Doing the Trikonasana (and other asanas) over and over again drives home a few important lessons.

  1.  Practice makes perfect.  But nobody’s perfect.  So perfection is a process and practice is the means to it.  In the age of beautiful Instagram filters, it is difficult to believe that even the jaw dropping and awe inspiring pose has scope for improvement.  There is scope of improvement in everything.  Your projects are a work in progress.  Your relationships are a work in progress….your life is a work in progress.  You are a work in progress!  So accept your mistakes.  Internalize the lessons they teach you and don’t make them again.  Remember, a mistake made over and over again is a habit.
  2. Spend a lot of time on your fundamentals.  Here we have practitioners of all levels.  However, what we practice day in and day out (yes for 5 hours daily) are the fundamentals.  Trikonasana, Uttanasana, Downward dog etc.  The other day the entire 2 hour class was about Uttanasana.  That is all we did during the entire class.  In fact, I’ve heard Abhijata say that your inversions will never be stable unless your standing poses are stable.  Next time you find yourself fumbling in a pose, try and analyse why and what you can do to make the pose better.  And next time you find yourself getting impatient or bored of the fundamentals, remember there’s always scope for improvement.
  3. Cultivate discipline.Be strict with yourself because when it comes to your body no one else will be.  Make the time to move your body, however inconvenient it may be.  Make the time to cultivate a hobby which requires you to move.  Enjoy the process of movement and getting in touch with yourself.  The tragedy of our times is that people will set reminders on their phones to take the medicines they have now become dependent on, but they won’t throw back the covers and go for a quick jog.  Every little bit matters, but you need discipline.  To start and to stay on track.

[Above: Healthy food choices always.  Remember my 80/20 rule.]

Lifestyle Travel Uncategorized

Stop Drawing in the Clouds

September 15, 2016

When I was living in Sanaa, Yemen my parents decided that we should go to school during the summer holidays as well.  Both my parents were working and three kids can be quite a handful.  So they spoke to the principal of the school run by the Indian Embassy there, and we were packed off to what would become summer school for us.

There was a boy in my class during the time, who was from Russia.  He didn’t speak English very well and couldn’t read or write it very well either.  The English teacher was supportive but it is difficult to teach someone a language when you have no common language to communicate in.  The thing that I remember about this boy is that he was a talented artist.  Perhaps he’s a cartoonist or an illustrator or a graphic designer now.  Back then he was amazing at art.  Unfortunately, we grew up at a time when if you were good at Math and Science, you were smart…and nothing else really drew much appreciation.

One day we were given an assignment during English class and we were all furiously working on the assignment.  All of us.  At the end of the class the teacher was curious to know how the Russian student had done.  He handed her his notebook and we all registered her stunned expression.  She looked up and showed us his notebook.  While the rest of us were working on our assignment, he was busy copying the cover page of the book.  I forget what was on the cover, but I remember there were clouds and the name of the book was written over the clouds.

“See he’s drawn the English, he doesn’t even realize it,” said the teacher.  “He thinks it’s a part of the picture.  He doesn’t know what he’s drawn.”

I find a lot of that happening in yoga class.  After 15 days here, at ‘the source’, I’ve started to feel like 95% of yoga studios/teachers/students in Bangalore have skewed focus.  I see it in classes too.  Students are in awe of other students and teachers who can go upside down or do other fancy things….and somewhere the focus shifts.  The acrobats develop a comfort zone in which they preen and prance while the rest of us aspire to gain entry into that comfort zone.  In any yoga class, you will see all the students practicing the basic asanas with concentration and focus.  As the asanas get more challenging the students grumble and groan but still focus on the posture and working with their bodies.  And finally, for the ‘advanced’ poses you will see most students gazing admiringly and enviously at the few who are able to do the poses.

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At any point in time, when your attention is no longer on what is going on within you, then the practice ceases to be yoga.  I keep on saying that yoga is not about the postures, yoga is about life.  All of us have different lives, and so our relationship with yoga will also be unique and personal.  What is going on in your body when you do the Uttanasana will be based upon your lifestyle, life choices, mental and emotional states.  These factors will be different for your classmates and so their Uttanasana will be different.  What I see in students is the desire to do the Uttanasana that their neighbor is doing.  And those who are able to execute what they think is the ‘perfect’ Uttanasana stop working in the asana.  Teachers too, focus more on how far down you can go rather than on how you can work your body optimally to execute the best Uttanasana you can given your mental and physical state at that given point in time.

The result of this style of teaching and learning is that we are missing the point.  Movement in yoga classes is becoming mechanical and mindless.  We’re missing the bullseye….in fact we’re not even aiming for bullseye.  We are confusing asanas for acrobatics and vice versa.  Every time someone else does kapotasana and we can’t, we’re lose a bit of ourselves.  And going farther away from ourselves, which is opposite to what yoga aims to do.  Remember, yoga means to join or to yoke together, and if you are focusing on the getting your leg behind your head, you’re not appreciating the feeling of expansion in your hips.

Stop drawing alphabets in the clouds, learn to read the words.

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Lifestyle Uncategorized Yoga

Nightlife of a Different Sort

September 13, 2016

Lord Ganesh would probably be the poster boy for Hindu mythology.  I’ve rarely met a foreign yogi who hasn’t heard at least one legend about how he got the head of an elephant.  I’ve rarely been to an Indian or an Indophile’s house which doesn’t have a picture or a statue of Ganesh-ji.  I don’t profess to have more than a rudimentary knowledge of Hinduism and am not in the least iconoclastic.  But I also have a beautiful statue of Ganesh in my house.  One of my favorite pieces of jewellery is a gold Ganesh pendant that a friend of mine gave me when I was about to embark on an import journey in life (thanks Lakshmi).

I guess it was destiny for me to come to Maharashtra when the most special festival is going on.  Ganesh Chaturti here is celebrated like Dusshera in Mysore.  The festival has been immortalized in numerous Bollywood songs and last night I had the pleasure of visiting the 5 famous Ganesh mandals here in Pune.  These are so famous in fact, that it is rumoured that Bollywood celebrities come all the way here to offer their prayers.  Going to the old city and walking through the crowds to make your way to the Ganpatis is no easy feat, and I guess it was destiny once again that I had a group who was kind enough to think of me when they made their plan.  Had it not been for Hariharan, Shivangi and Subbu I don’t think I would ever have had the chance to participate in the festivities.

 

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The route.

We had a very capable and organized navigator.  Hariharan did the groundwork.  We had the names of the famous Ganapatis and the walking route printed out.  We knew that it was going to be crowded, so we left our bags behind in the car and ventured out on foot.  Don’t get too close to the venue to look for parking because you won’t find any.  We parked on the other side of the  Mula Mutha river and crossed the bridge.  The area is cordoned off for vehicles.

 

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Have to go back to this.  I’ve heard there is a sound and light show here.  Also, it looks very different from how it does in Bajirao Mastani.  I will have to go back for a closer look.

The Ganapatis we wanted to visit were:

  1. Kasba
  2. Tambdi
  3. Guruji Talim
  4. Tulsibaugh (we missed this one)
  5. Kesriwada

So the Ganapatis, in no particular order are:

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The oldest Ganapati.

While here I want to make sure that I have as much vada pav and pav bhaji and other local fare, and in keeping with that we stopped at JumboKing for their famous Wada Pav Burger.pomelo_20160913161647_save.jpg

 

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Mario Miranda on the wall.

 

Fortune tellers, old and new friends, phenomenal yoga teachers and amazing practice sessions…what else will Ganesh-ji bring my way during the rest of my Pune travels and in my life?

 

 

 

Lifestyle Travel Yoga

The Yoga Mat

September 12, 2016

 

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A photograph at the institute.

 

A tip for all of you travelling to Pune to study at RIMYI:  Don’t take your yoga mat.  I know many people are attached to their mats, and they can’t imagine practicing on any other mat.  (Letting your yoga mat go would be a good lesson in Vairagya or non-attachment.)  Anyways, I was unaware that mats are available in the institute, so I brought along my own.  But I find I’m too lazy to lug it to the institute daily, so now I just use the mats there.

The institute has a wide collection of mats.  So depending on what you want to practice,

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Electric salad and Top Hats @Malaka

you can choose the thickness and stickiness of the mat.  The thing is, my mat gets very dirty (maybe because of my park classes), and I simply can’t get over how clean these mats are.  Even though hundreds of people use the mats daily, the mats are clean and tidy, so you don’t feel all icky about using them.

 

You probably use your mat daily.  Probably sweat on it a lot.  Probably walk across it with dirty feet, or others will walk across it with dirty feet.  No wonder people find their hands and feet slipping in Adhomukha Svanasana.  But a little care for your mat can ensure that it lasts for a while.

If you use your mat in the park (like a lot of my students do), then try to wash your mat weekly.  The best practice to wash your mat is to lay it down on the floor and wipe it down with a sponge and soapy water.  And then rinse the soap away using the same sponge.  Be gentle, because you don’t want to loosen and weaken the fibres of the mat.  I suggest you be eco-friendly and use water and vinegar mixed together.  In Wellington I used to spray Eucalyptus oil on my mat which would keep it smelling fresh and energizing.  You could also spray some essential oil on your mat.  Leave it out to dry.  Also, try not to use too much soap as you don’t want any residue on your mat.

Don’t wring the mat.  Again, it may loosen the fibres and you may end up wringing the mat out of shape.

I know there are special yoga mat wipes which you could use to clean your mat.  I know of one case where someone used baby wipes, which was a bad idea because it moisturized the mat.  Which is not ideal if you want to practice Adhomukha perfectly.  Some people use witch-hazel as well.  I’ve never done this.

What I usually do is put my mat in the washing machine and leave it out to dry in the balcony.  Simple and time effective.  However, I learned the hard way that you shouldn’t put in anything else with your mat.  One of my mats came out torn on one end.  Learn from my mistakes.

 

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Sunday agenda: Catching up on rest with Aston and scary movies on Netflix.

 

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle Travel Yoga

Stretching – Then and Now

September 11, 2016

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@Malaka Spice

 

It’s been close to 10 days here and my routine here is as challenging as ever.  I realize that if it’s your first time here, then it does take a while to adjust and adapt.  The first time I had a 4 hour practice I was incredulous … and didn’t know how to deal with it.  Rather, I didn’t know how to make the most of it.  When I practice at home it’s only for an hour and a half, and by the end of it I’m drained out.  So the first few days here, I was always exhausted.  So much so that I felt I couldn’t give the best in the asanas and always felt sloppy and ungainly throughout the practice.  Mondays and Tuesdays specially, since practice on those days is almost 4 hours long, and by the time I’m done with practice its an ordeal just to walk home.  My fantasies these days centre around buying an apartment next to the institute so that I can crawl home in no time and surface again only for the next class.

However, now I’ve started to get used to the routine.  I’m actually able to make the most of the extended practice sessions.  In fact, 2 hours is just about enough time for a satisfying practice…how I’m going to sustain this when I’m back in Bangalore is the stuff other blog posts are made of.

Yesterday I had my class in the evening (where I’m referred to as ‘Bangalore’, and another

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Milk tea just this once?

girl is called ‘USA’, oh and then there’s ‘Madam China’ in the 6 am session).  It was an amazingly intense session.  The class was fast paced with a focus on stretching the lower body (Janu Sirsasana, Paschimottansana, Baddhakonasana etc).  Finally we did the Upavista Konasana, which is a challenging pose for me.  I slowly made my way down and eased my torso onto the floor.  I remember the days when I started practicing yoga and this pose was a big challenge.  I wouldn’t be able to extend my back and my hip joint was stiff.  As the years went by, I was still pretty reluctant to practice this pose because it didn’t come naturally at all and it was frustrating.  Even now, sometimes I’m able to execute this pose well, and sometimes I feel like lead.

Yesterday I was able to ease myself down and placed my forehead on the floor.  I stayed there kind of happy and satisfied with myself.  There’s always an element of pleasant surprise also, because some days your body can extend and some days it just doesn’t.  This reverie lasted until I heard, “BANGALORE!  You’re sleeping!  Extend more!  Walk forward with your hands!!!  That’s it, that’s good.  Trance mein chali gayi thi phir se.”

And I realized that for the most part, this is how I practice.  I arrange myself into a pose and then my mind says, “This is it, you’ve done well.  You’re done.”  And then my pose goes dead, and progress stops.  Or, as the teacher said, I fall asleep.  So when I was told to extend more, I had to push through the limitations of my mind (kind of still the internal dialogue) and discover if I could, in fact, go further.  I realized that I could, and for that little bit of time I experienced new life.  And received a bit of enlightenment.

The Halasana is a pose that we do daily in class.  We use props to ensure that the spine and neck are straight.  The picture is of me doing the Halasana many years ago.  When my internal dialogue was loud and overpowering.  I’m sure it’s improved over the years.  And after this class, I know how to work in this (and in all other asanas).

Halasana (Plough Pose)

How To

  1. Lie down straight on your back making sure your head lies on the floor.
  2. Exhale, bend your legs at the knees and bring your knees close to your chest.
  3. Lift your buttocks off of the floor supporting your back with your hands.
  4. Make sure to plant your elbows firmly on the floor.halasana
  5. Bring your body perpendicular to the floor, until your sternum touches your chin.
  6. Gently extend your legs out behind your head.
  7. Keep your face and neck relaxed.
  8. Practice with your arms stretched out behind and fingers interlocked to relive pain and cramps in fingers, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Benefits

  • Relieves fatigue.
  • Helps to calm down the mind.
  • Relaxes your eyes and brain.
  • Controls hyper tension.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Lengthens the spine and improves alignment.
  • Reduces insomnia and anxiety.
  • Relieves stress-related headaches and migraines.

Contraindications

  • Don’t practice during menstruation and if you have cervical spondylosis.
Lifestyle Travel Yoga

Yoga and the Menstrual Cycle – Pune Day 8

September 8, 2016

To practice or not to practice – even the most devoted yogini asks herself this once a month.

Here in Pune, women on their period are given a different, more restful sequence to follow.  So they will do all the standing and seated asanas and the twists with the rest of the class.  When the class goes into inversions (which is what we practice towards the end of the session), the menstruating ladies go into either forward bends or restful supine positions.

When I was in Mysore last year I found out that in the Ashtanga tradition, women are allowed 3 rest days while on their period and these days are called the ‘Ladies’ Holiday’.

Now that we know that two very old traditions of yoga recommend rest during this time, it’s worth dwelling on why.  I’m sure I’ve talked about it in a previous blog, but the most obvious reason is that inversions force the flow of blood to go against the natural course, which may lead to unhealthy periods.  Also, when you start to integrate bandhas with your asanas, the mula bandha opposes the flow of blood again.

Mensturation is also the time when a woman’s body regenerates and gets ready to procreate again.  This ability to procreate is held holy and revered in many cultures.  This is a time for a woman to slow down and give time and space to her body, spiritually and physically.

When I first started practicing yoga, I admit I thought not practicing when you’re menstruating was just a myth.  And so I practiced all the time.  A lot of us can get away with intense challenging practice sessions even while we’re on our period.  However, your body will change and it’s important to be attuned to these changes.  Your flexibility levels vary day to day, as does your stamina and state of mind.  As your body and your practice change you can expect that one day you may just want to relax during your period.  Listen to your body, don’t just obey your mind.

How did I make peace with easing up on my practice?  I decided to take it the Iyengar way.  During my self practice I spent a lot of time in Supta Baddhakonasana and in various forward bends.  I did a lot of hip openers because I find that feels good.  I worked on my Hanumanasana as well.  My back feels relaxed and flexible and I still feel like I did a good practice.

On to other related topics.  Lately I’ve started looking into having a zero-waste period.  As many readers may know, sanitary napkins and tampons are non biodegradable or recyclable and end up in landfills.  There are reams online about TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) but my primary interest in a zero-waste period is the environment.  Pads and tampons started to feel like the deep-fried, coated in refined sugar, unhygienic sweet that I didn’t even want to look at.  I discovered alternatives.  Here’s a video that will shed more light on this:

 

And if you’re interested in getting your own set of re-usable pads, you can get them at the link below.  The reason I like this organisation is because they are involved with lots of rural initiatives.

https://ecofemme.org/domestic/

Travel Yoga

A Yogi in Pune – Day 6

September 6, 2016

My host brought to my attention that there is a much respected astrologer close by.  Everyone goes to him and his reading is usually spot on.  The catch is that it’s difficult to get an appointment with him.  Plus I didn’t have my birth chart.

If I could get into the Iyengar institute, famed or their coldness and hard-to-get attitude, then the neighbourhood astrologer would be easy to crack, regardless of how famous he was.  Expecting it to take weeks to get an appointment, I started working on this right away.  To my surprise and delight, I managed to get an appointment in the third call.  So post my self practice session today, I decided to visit the astrologer.  Armed with a map and loads of curiosity.

In the rows and rows of non descript government quarters, I wouldn’t have been able to find his house with no address.  However, everyone seemed to know where he lived.  An appointment was going on when I walked in.  I’d expected the worst and was prepared to wait for hours, but Lady Luck was on my side and I waited for only 15 minutes.

I had asked my mother to send me photos of my natal chart on WhatsApp and I showed him these images on my laptop.

Astrologer: “You aren’t in the same line that you studied.”

Me: Nodded.

Astrologer: “What have you studied?”

Me:”Engineering.  I worked as a software engineer also for a long time too.”

Astrologer: “But what are you doing now?”

Me: “I teach yoga.”

Astrologer: “It says here that you will excel at the studies of old things…maybe history…maybe humanity.  You will do well in a field that requires you to gain deep knowledge, not superficial work.  It says here your area of work will be beneficial for mankind.  Are you only teaching or studying also?”

Me: “Yes, I study and teach.”

Astrologer: “Then there is nothing better for you than this.  This is what you were meant to do.  To study deeply and to help people.  And yoga is after all a study of the human body and the human mind.  And now with Modi getting interested…you can understand.”

Me: “Hmmm…but what else do you see?  Only teaching and studying yoga?  Same thing for the rest of my life?”

Astrolger: “No no….you will go deep.  Even amongst yoga teachers, not everyone reaches the trance state.  Not everyone goes to the higher levels.  You will also go.  You will teach and you will learn.  Yoga will take you to different places.  You will not settle abroad nor get a green card.  But you will travel far and frequently.”

Me: “I will travel for yoga?  But do you see a book published in my future somewhere?”

Astrologer: “When it comes to yoga, which is your chosen field of study, you will do whatever you want.  There are no boundaries to what you will do and there are no limits to how much you will contribute.  But stick to yoga, don’t do anything else.  Now you tell me, why did you take up yoga?”

Me: “I myself can’t really tell you why.  Something within me is drawn to the practice.”

Astrologer: “And that is what!  That is why you must continue.  Don’t worry about money.  You won’t get Rs. 5, 10, 50…when you earn you will get in the thousands at one go.  You will earn in different currencies, but only through yoga.  Don’t switch your line and stick to it.  Whatever you want, you will get.”

As I walked away from his office, I was reminded of what Pattabhi Jois was so fond of saying,” Do your practice and all is coming.”  In a way, this famed astrologer was telling me the same thing.

Lifestyle Uncategorized

A Yogi in Pune – Day 4

September 4, 2016

Since Pune doesn’t shut down by 11, last night I was able to do something that I haven’t time and inclination to do for a while now – club hopping.  Since I’m here only for 4 weekends, Anuja wanted to give me a wholesome flavor of the Pune nightlife.  A simple relaxed sit down dinner morphed into something completely different.

Our first stop was The Foundry Club which has a Church Street Social kinda vibe.  So lots of techies and beer.  Food was awesome!

Next we went to a club called Euriska.  Neon interiors and teeny boppers bobbing up and down on the dance floor.

Finally we ended up at Stonewater where the crowd was pretty much the same.  Once in a while, when you’ve been through what seems like days and days of back breaking yoga practice, you just nee to let your hair down like this.

 

When I woke up this morning I realized that I had the entire Sunday to myself to do what I pleased.  I have the entire city to explore, I have a bunch of friends to meet…however, I reached for my book and slid back under the covers.  After more months than I care to remember I started my day lost in a book and Skyping with a friend who also spends time lost in books.  Come to think of it, even if I wanted to go out, I think  what I really wanted to do was rest as much as I can on my very first ‘rest day.’  I’m going to slide under the covers again with a movie…or maybe a book.  After all, it’s my rest day and the possibilities are limitless.

 

Lifestyle Travel Yoga

A Yogi in Pune – Day 2

September 2, 2016
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Soup of the Day: Ghia soup.  I’m telling you, a hostess after my own heart.

I’m not sure whether it’s the my cold or it’s the intense practice here, but by the end of each practice session I’m EXHAUSTED.  This level of exhaustion is new to me.  In Bangalore I’m up super early and I have loads of energy to teach morning AND evening AND to do my self practice AND to write AND go to work.  Here I’m too tired to even eat sometimes and I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.  This morning I woke up at 6, but lazed around in bed because I had to be at the institute only by 10.30 AM.  These small luxuries will only be available this month to me, I reasoned.

Today I had my self practice session first.  I got there early and spoke to  a few other first time students. And then it was time to quiz Mr. Pandurang for all everything he could tell me.  Who was this Pandurang Rao and how was he so intimately connected to the institute?  What was his story?  I decided to start asking him in Hindi about how long he’s been here.  He peered up at me from behind his thick glasses in surprise.  After a few questions we fell into an easy conversation.  He told me that Prashaant, Geeta and he used to practice with Guruji in the early 60s, in the house in the city, which is where the family used to stay then.  The loyal students at the time felt that Mr. Iyengar should have a place of his own to teach and practice in, similar to how he had studios all across the world.  Mr. Pandurang was a part of the original group of people who toiled hard to secure and create the space the world knows as RIMYI.  The opening was in 1975.  Pandurang speaks in the same low voice and neither his face nor his voice have any expression.  “What year where born?” he asked me abruptly.

“1982,” I replied.

“Hmmm…abh dekho, yeh 1975 se hai.  Aap thoda time do.  Yahaan ke barre mein bahaut hai seekhne ko.”  And with that our tete a tete came to an end because I had to go for my self practice session.

My self practice today went a lot better than yesterday, partly because I vegetated the morning away, conserving my energy for the session.  Here I encountered another luxury, the luxury of practicing with no time limits.  At home we all have time constraints.  Having what seems like all the time in the world and all the tools at your disposal, can put you in your happy place.  However, it can be overwhelming too.

 

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Room where my led class happens.  Pink ropes, what more could a girl want?

 

My led class was in the evening today and I met a Korean student while crossing the road and we chatted all the way to the institute.  After changing into the ‘uniform’ (more on this later), we trudged up three flights of stairs to the Women’s class.  Twice a week the institute has a women’s only session and I get to take the Friday eve women’s class.  The teacher is a bundle of energy.  She keeps a nonstop banter going through the class.  And she keeps her sharp eyes on everyone.  The caught me looking at the floor and shrilled, “BANGALORE!!!  Keep your eyes open!  Always!  You are with me!  You are with the class!  You are with YOURSELF!!!

It’s my turn to be at the receiving end I thought to myself as my mouth curled up into a smile and I nodded lightly.

While doing the Trikonasana: “BANGALORE!!! Look straight at me!  You are in my class!  Stay in my class!  Stay with us!  What are you looking at the ceiling for?!

Next time, she caught me glancing at the clock and she bellowed, “Why do your eyes always go up?!!! TRANCE mein chali jaati hai (giggles).  Trance mein jaana hai par meri class mein nahin.  In this class just go into the Trikonasana.”

During Sirsasana she bellowed, “BANGALORE!!!  Again!  Be with the class!!!  Come to the centre of the room, place your mat HERE and now face that way and now up you go

During the Sarvangasana: “BANGA-, wait what’s your name?”

Me: Pragya

Teacher: “Ek to itna lamba naam leke aa jaati hai.  Look!  Your blankets are uneven!  Make the even end on one side and odd end on the other side.  Yes, like that.”

As we filed out of class,  I said my customary thank you to which she said a simple: Good.

Hmmm, go figure.

I walked home and sat to pen down the day.  As I tied together some lose ends at work, Anuja (provider of the hot soups) and I made plans for the weekend.  I want to see the sights and sounds of Pune.  See different facets of the city.  She’s proving to be a great storehouse of info…and she’s following this blog too :).

But first we’ve decided to watch a scary film on Netflix tonight.  Turns out, both of us love scary movies, but prefer watching them with people.

Until tomorrow, stay healthy, stay happy!

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Lifestyle Travel Yoga

A Yogi in Pune – Day 1

September 1, 2016

The first day is always a day of exploration and learning.

My first class was on the second floor and we went through the standing asanas.  However, because it was the Intermediate class we were expected to know how to do the Sirsasana, Halasana and Sarvangasana.  In my class in Bangalore we did the Sarvangasana and Halasana with the help of chairs, however, here the only props we used were thick mats under our shoulders.

Post the class we had a break of 30 minutes after which the hall on the first floor was free for self practice.  During this time we are allowed the use of the hall and all the props to further our practice.  Since I wasn’t sure of what to expect, I decided to repeat what we had done in the led class and take my time with the asanas.  Since I’m working on my Hanumanasana, I built up to that as well.  Unfortunately, by this time (after almost 4 hours of practice) I was completely depleted of energy and didn’t give the practice my 100%.  However, tomorrow my self practice and led class have a gap, so I think I’ll be able to use my time much more judiciously tomorrow.

Once I got home I searched for a good spot for wifi reception.  The flora and fauna and the monsoons ensure the wifi signal is weak.  However, good karma came to my rescue and my sister’s friend (who lives in the house next door)n offered me her wifi and the use of this space:

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She happens to be a designer with a flair for interiors and this is her office.  So for the entire month, this is what my workstation looks like. My desk is right next to hers, so I’ve got good company too.  And hot homemade soup in the evenings (today it’s pumpkin soup).  I I will be designing plans and blogging from here.

As for my pratice schedule, here it is for your reference:

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