What I wouldn’t have given to have a led Primary Series class to go to regularly back before all of Primary was part of my everyday practice! Well, now it’s part of the weekly curriculum at the CT Shala. Every Friday morning at the blessed hour of 9:10 a.m. Today was my first time. It began with a few minutes of talk, mainly about Ganesha. Then we chanted, “Gung ganapatayai namo namaha.” It made me antsy to get to the physical practice, which is kind of good. It puts an end to the desire to proscratinate. When we finally stood up and recited the Invocation (which we do in unison, rather than call and response), I was filled with anticipation and excitement. Like, when this is over, I get to bend! Yay!
It was fun, and FAST. But surprisingly easy. I’m not counting how sucky my vinyasas are now that I am no longer allowing myself to move my hands once I put them down in Dwe, let alone peel the heels of my hands off my mat. Ha. Those days are OVAH. Watching Oni out of the corner of my eye…wow. If this is how she learned to do what she does, and we’re talking floating on air, or rather on bandhas, then I’ll have what she’s having.
Val has a soothing voice but a very clear presence. Except for the occasional peak at Oni, and maybe one glance at Sharon, my mat-door neighbor today, who seems to be pretty much at the same place in her practice as me, except that she’s regressed to it, rather than progressed to it, due to an ACL injury that has nothing to do with yoga at all, I don’t remember noticing anything going on around me. It was just me, my breath, my sweat and the sound of Val’s voice. There were some really good cues going on, particularly with respect to bandhas and driste.
I have never been a full believer in teacher monogamy. I’ve dabbled in it. But right now, I am loving the fact that I learn certain things from Val and will continue to learn certain things from Guy. For one thing, there is NO ONE on this EARTH who can adjust me in Supta K like Guy. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but I’ve tried many teachers, what with all the traveling teachers who’ve made their way through Shala X and my sporadic visits to Yoga Sutra, and no one, but no one can make me feel like a perfectly tied up little person package the way Guy can. On the other hand, I have never had backbending assists like those that Valerie gives. She really seems to “get it”. She says it’s because she’s not a natural backbender. I can understand that logic. I have always felt that the best assists I give are on the poses that I had to work extra hard to learn.
Now that every updog is a chest-puffing extravaganza, by the time I get to UD, I am pretty much ready without any fanfare. What also helps is not doing excessive leg-behind head stuff on my off hours. I think that the month of practicing alone here really did a number on my backbendability. Some days I would go from Prasarita Pado D to Tittibasana C (fingers touching) and then follow Supta K with Yoga Nidrasana and then another Supta K. Sometimes a few more times, seeing how much deeper I could bind each time. Of course, backbending became increasingly painful and difficult as the month went on. As did walking upright. It appeared that I was devolving from a woman who walked erect to a woman who could cross her feet behind her head but at the expense of dragging her knuckles across the floor as she walked.
Well, shala discipline is back on the agenda, and it’s good for my not being mistaken for a neanderthal.
Not sure where to practice Sunday. I don’t relish the idea of led primary on Sunday, as it is in CT. On the other hand, I don’t relish the idea of driving to NYC and back to Westchester only to drive back towards the city later on for some social plans. Of course, there is Greenwich, with Stan, but that will involve being awake before six a.m. On a Sunday! I’ve done it before. But it is a herculean effort.
I do know how I will be fitting Guy into my schedule again though…which is a big relief. I really miss the shala and Guy, despite how much I am enjoying the CT shala and Val. Anyway, they really ARE starting up a late practice in a centralized location in the village, right near the 6 line. I have one day a week when I do all of my NYC errands – doctors appointments, see the shrink, pick up coconuts (kidding on that one…I can get them ANYWHERE in Westchester, more easily than in NYC!), stuff like that. That’s the day I will be going to Shala AnneX. For some reason, I don’t feel like saying what day that is. Because the husband has been putting the fear of God in me that if I’m not careful, I’m going to end up getting stalked by a psycho. I keep telling him that all the psychos are on that OTHER blog.
There’s no psychos here, right?
Coming soon: photos of Tashlich at Wampus Pond, where a group of Jews from my new synagogue gathered to throw bread crumbs into the water, representing their past sins. It was a beautiful ceremony in a beautiful locale. Much more beautiful than the East River, which is where my NYC synagogue held Tashlich. I LOVE my new temple, by the way. They are really into connecting with the earth, getting involved in organic co-ops, watching the trees and flowers grow (because no one does this anymore, he says), maybe raising some chickens, which if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’ve been itching to do, myself. I talked to the Rabbi about it, and I might get involved with this. He’s very cool. A refugee from THE SUMMER OF LOVE, which I put in all caps because he mentioned it in his sermon about 85 times.
Yep, I’m back to boring again.