Thursday, August 14, 2008


“That” refers to practice of course.

I rarely feel like this.

But today it was a struggle to get through it.

The body was weak, stiff and tired. The mind was not focused.

Part of the reason was lack of sleep due to the loud yelling and banging that went on all last night - until 11:45, when I called the manager and asked him to tell the people below me to shut it. He did, and they (students from Kerala) did. But by then it was too late. You see, the goal is to be in bed by 9 and up at 4. Yogi hours. 11:45 does not play into it.

It didn't help that I was in the back of the room today, which makes it easy for the driste (gaze) to wander. I was behind a. Dristi person whose constant gazing around the room actually interrupts his practice. It seemed to rub off on me.

Beside me was a Sleestack - a loud, hissy breather whose inhale is nonexistent, and whose exhale sounds not unlike he reptilian humanoids from the 1970s TV Saturday morning show “Land of the Lost." The Sleestack's breathing was so harsh and loud one could not hear her own breath.

I dreaded Kapotasana.

I dreaded my running-backwards dropbacks.

I had good reason.

I did two Kapos on my own, and managed to barely catch the toes. The numbness in the arm began during the first one.

Then S. helped me. The hands did not want to stay on the feet, although eventually they more or less clasped the arches. There was no "That's good" from S. today. One suspects that he too was glad it was over.

The heart and breath took forever to slow down afterwards. Finally, it was backbend time.

The dropbacks were better today. Slowly, slowly was the key. At least there's that.

I did the closing sequence in the dressing room. Sadly, the Sleestack was in there, too. The large marble room made the hiss even louder; it actually interrupted the "take rest" pose.

This was irritating until one realized that the poor was struggling through the whole practice, and could not help breathing that way.

It was irritating until one realized that her own breathing is quite similar at Kapotasana time.

We really are all the same....

* * *

Later, at Green Leaf, I had my favorite new (to me) cold weather dish - idly and wada swimming in sambar (a soupy tamarind curry). I thought this dish had a special name, so I asked around. I found out today that it has a very special name indeed. It’s called “Iddy-Wada-Sambar in Bowl.”

Then it was on to the railway station to get a ticket to Bangalore this weekend. This time I got a seat on a reserved non-AC chair car – which costs just a third of last week's AC ticket.

I also learned that when you go at 9AM in the cold cold rain, the line is short – very short indeed.


  1. I am so glad that you have the same experience of some Ashtangis like me.

    What strang breathing I have heard already. Igit.

  2. It is quite interesting to read your blog now that I am here in India. I only wish you would stay. Your postings are, as usual, top notch.

  3. Anonymous5:47 PM

    Your blog makes a very nice reading of India and its color. Pls post more pictures or videos when you get a chance