Back again

Really, was it only one day? Was I at Pure Yoga only yesterday morning?

Yup.

Time is very elastic right now. No matter. I got myself up at 5:30 and — yay! — finally figured out the little in-room coffee pot thingie so I could have a cup before practice. Ah. The good life.

Truth be told, I was a little scared to go back. Demanding teacher. Not in an awful way, just in a way that lets you know that she’s watching everything all the time, and you won’t be able to roll through anything. Nada. Best behavior at all times. No tense deltoids (as if).

Okay, so I head over to Pure Yoga with just my blanket. I will use one of the mats they have out on the floor. There is a part of me that is horrified at this idea (the Howard Hughes-channeling part of me), but as I step onto the mat, I discover that it is pristinely clean and delightfully sticky. Geez, they must wash them every day. And I wonder with what? I’d like to get whatever it is they’re using because these mats are like new.

CL heads over as I’m doing my routine working-my-way-through-standing-so-I-can-get-to-the-good-stuff. I’m not proud of this habit, but hey, I acknowledge it. She has me do a re-do of Parivritta Parsvakonasana. She tells me to really bend the back leg (usually I keep it straight) and to turn the front knee in (toward the midline) so I can get my shoulder hooked over it. She also tells me not to look back yet. Nope. Look at the ground and get the shoulder set up, then put the back foot down (still looking down) and then twist into the final pose.

A star for the teacher. That totally rocked.

I heard her (with a mix of excitement and dread) approach during Prasarita C. I had set up with my palms facing out, as she’d had me do yesterday, but she asked me to do it the other way first, pushed my hands to the ground, then had me reverse my hands. And then I got a crank that was even more bone-crackin’ than the one I got yesterday. My internal monolog went: “Relax, relax. Oh holy God, where is the effing FLOOR?!?! Surely it must be close!?” It was clear she was not gonna knock off until my hands were on the floor. Imagine my relief when I finally felt it.

Strangely, I am attracted to this adjustment that scares the bejesus out of me. I can’t wait to have another.

I extrapolated from our Marichyasana D adjustment yesterday and tried to keep both sit bones down on all Marichyasanas. Also to keep the balance/energy in the navel (usually once I catch the bind, all of the energy shifts into my shoulders/arms). The sit bones down version changes the character of the Marichys immensely.

Got a fabulous squish in Upavistha Konasana. I kept up my mantra for today (and, if I’m smart, into the future): Relax the shoulders; use the navel. And all my whining about the humid heat yesterday? Forget it. It’s totally conducive to a bendy practice.

And lastly, a great adjustment in Supta Padangusthasana. Part 1: This pose is about the kidneys. I’ve always curled from the abs, but if you push from the kidneys, it’s a whole different experience. She also mentioned a few times that I need to quit putting tension in my feet. Energize the leg on the floor, but relax the feet. (She also told me to relax my hands a few times.) Part 2 of Supta Padangusthasana: Still about the kidneys. That’s where the energy/strength resides. Then soften the leg that is lowering.

Terrific practice. I highly recommend the place, if anyone is ever in Singapore. Speaking of which, I’m really enjoying the city. Discussion about the non-yoga part of my trip is in the other blog.

Tomorrow and the next day, which are Thursday and Friday here in Singapore (I am living in the future!) will be early days for me, so I won’t get back to Mysore practice until Saturday. Gonna have to see if I can squeeze in a quick practice on Sunday, too, before I leave.

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7 Responses

  1. Practicing in an unfamiliar shala can be so disorienting. It’s a strange combination of tense muscles from travel, a new teacher who is watching your every move, and yes, new adjustments that give you a deeper understanding of your own practice.

    Are you planning to practice any intermediate poses while in Singapore?

  2. Yes, you sound like you are familiar with practicing while traveling! I had kind of figured I’d stick with primary, but now that you ask, I’m thinking perhaps I’ll do some of intermediate. Seems like a scary idea. LOL!

  3. wow, what great stories! thanks for sharing them.

  4. Hi donutszenmom

    great post you have written there!

    I am from Singapore and I have been practicing at Pure for sometime. It just happens that I recently got back to going for CL’s ashtanga class and my friend saw your post and she showed me your post. ๐Ÿ™‚

    CL is a fantastic teacher abeit a strict one! One day I hope to start going for mysore too! ( I can’t remember the sequence yet! )

  5. Hi Lesley,

    Definitely learn the sequence and get yourself to Mysore practice — you have a great opportunity, with such a terrific teacher available to you. Celeste is very direct, and gives very strong adjustments, but she also seems kind and good humored. I can’t say enough about her.

    Karen

  6. Hi Karen

    Most definitely! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Write about it when you do, too! The rest of us would benefit from hearing about what’s going on at that shala.

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