Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Actually, he didn't tear anything. He just made it move.

And it wasn't the arse (the triphala is taking care of that).

It was the shoulders and upper back.

Let me explain.

Yesterday completed my first week at the shala. When we arrive, we do only primary series for a week. So today - Day One of Week Two - was the first day I added the few intermediate poses that I do.

Last year, I left off at Kapotasana, an intense kneeling backbend where the forehead is on the floor and the hands are meant to clasp the heels. It requires open shoulders and upper back.

My hands have yet to touch the feet without help.

Today it did the pose twice on my own (in my home practice, I do it three times; usually the first two tries are hell, and the third feels like heaven - even
if the hands aren't anywhere near the feet)

Today, the third time down, I sensed Sharath's presence at the front of the mat.

He grabbed my right hand, and told someone to straighten their arms.

I thought he was talking to the person next to me (Sharath is very good at keeping an eye on everything happening in the shala and policing the waiting area, even as he gives expert adjustments). I'd never heard of straightening the arms in a Kapotasana adjustment.

But he said it again, more firmly, and I realized he was talking to me. So I tried to straighten my arms.

Next thing I knew, he hand my hands on my feet.

He said again, to straighten my arms, and again I tried to do it. One at a time, he pulled the hands nearly to my heels. The pads of my feet were strangely soft.

After completing Part B, I came up and looked at him and said, "Wow!"

And he said something like, "Now stretching."

Indeed. Parts of the body that haven't moved since birth are now waking up.

Then I slapped my left arm a few times. It was numb.

And I thought, This is what I came to Mysore for.


Today while walking towards the shala gate I had the most pleasant surprise. I saw "Road to Mysore" Joey, waiting outside. He'd just arrived, which is wonderful news.

After breakfast at Chakra House - where Ravi and Rajesh shared some of their breakfast, kara bath, with me - I picked up some adaptors for QE at Loyal World and then visited the temple at the Ramakrishna Ashram. It is too peaceful; there is no pushing and shoving and rajas - just quiet contemplation. It feels like home.

Which reminds me. I always like to stay at the Kaveri Lodge and ride the scooter 6km to the shala. But now I'm finally figuring out why it might be good to live in expensive, suburban Gokulam. You can walk to the shala, regardless of the weather. You can walk to everything you need. You can take an evening stroll in peace. You can spend less time running around in circles. You can be as social or reclusive as you want. It makes sense now.

I forgot to call Three Sisters about coming to lunch today, but they let K and I come anyway. Lucky me; Kimberly was there (It's her last day in Mysore), telling stories about Guruji (who told her today to come to the new shala in Florida in November). Zoe and others were also there, and it was like olden times; every seat was taken. Many stories were told, and food was eaten, and more food was brought out, and more chappati, and more vegetables, and more stories were told, and a box was opened, and it was wonderful.


  1. I get numb arm too after a deep assist in Kapotasana. The one time I didn't get a numb arm was when TWO people adjusted me - one on the legs, keeping them as vertical as possible and the other on the arms. I think the hips-forward thing made it less of a stretch for the arms. Anyway, yay for you! Feels very cool, right?

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