"I THINK YOU ARE BECOMING FAT,"
OR FABRIC IS THE NEW SMACK
Today's Vocabulary Words:
Note = 100-rupee note
Lakh = 100,000
Crore = 100 lakhs (10 million)
Grand = fancy
Jammu (of 2004 trip's Jammu and Kashmir) arrived on Monday and we've been shoping ever since.
The bright blue salwaar kameez depicted in my profile picture is ripping apart at the seams because 1) the fabric is cheap and paper-thin, and 2) I'm rough on clothes. So Jammu brought me to a flashy-dressing fabric-wallah named Mansoor, who was wearing all black and a Harley Davidson belt.
But when I was explaining to him what I was looking for and showing him how my current dress is falling apart, he said, with a straight face, "I think you are becoming fat."
Which I think tops last month's unsolicited "Looking very old today, Madame."
Lucky for Mansoor that in addition to perfect English, he had the perfect replacement dress.
He also has every fabric you could want (except raw silk and saris with silver trim, which are scarce in Mysore). I also picked up some lovely homespun cotton or khadi. Even Matrika was impressed with the selection. I call it the porn shop; she dubbed it the opium den. And it's just steps away from Sachin, the best tailor in Mysore -- don't tell anyone -- whom I discovered in 2002 with the help of the surly guy at VT Fabrics.
Yesterday I had my second rolfing session with Ken (more on that soon), who introduced me to his new roommate. "This is Reena," he said. Realizing she was a fellow blogger, I said, "REENA? MEDIC IN MYSORE REENA?" and she said yes, and I whispered in her ear, "I'm NosleeptilMysoreCaca." I can't wait to get together with her, but alas! her medical work gets in the way.
Today Sharath told me to start coming to practice at 5:45 AM. I've been sleeping in until the 5AM call of the mullah and leaving for practice at 6AM. During that hour I heat the coffee / induce an elimination round, complete my toilette and do my first practice of the day -- a very soft pre-practice practice consisting of S-I joint exercises, hamstring stretches, lunges, and easy backbends. Now I'll have to start the whole rigamarole at 4:30.
I remember hearing senior teacher David Roche say over coconuts in 2002 that he did pre-practice warmups and thinking, "Why would anyone want to practice before practice?"
Uh, because one is not just looking but feeling very old today, Madame.
My third practice of the day is another relatively soft one and is not done in the closing room, thankyouverymuch. It focuses on Pasasana -- still too fat to clasp hands on the second side -- and backbending and wall-walking with a block and a strap (don't tell anyone) and doing the exercises that Ken-the-rolfer has recommended.
Today in class my lower right back hurt like hell in backbends, and after doing about five of them the way Tim Miller showed me (going onto the head first and putting the knees over the ankles and pulling in the elbows) I asked Sharath, who has his own back problems, what to do. Without missing a beat he said, "Paschimottanasana" -- which meant to skip dropbacks and go directly into the counterpose. My back was thankful. But it was hard to slack off like that.
It seems at some point it's better to do less and avoid permanent spinal damage -- even when in Mysore, where it's all about making "progress" and getting the next pose.
Yet despite all this, and my recent failure to stand up from backbend, Sharath gave me a new asana this week -- bhekasana -- which actually makes my back feel good.