21 Dec 2010

Christmas Week, Is It Really?

Today was a Moonday again. I went to Three Sisters with Amberlin and Jenn. It’s a very cool place, where sisters will bring you delicious Indian food and you eat everything, what is on your plate. They will bring you more food until you say, that’s enough. I specially liked the desert, which was chapatti topped on honey, ghee and fresh, roasted coconut.

I have been eating lately quite much in Indian places. We have a secret breakfast place, where my dish is always set dosa, which is Indian pancakes with coconut chutney and spicy vegetable mix. Chai is so full of sugar there, that I have to ask them to add only little bit sugar. In Indian places the atmosphere is the best. You eat in the middle of the locals and you can observe them. I for example never drink water from the jars on the table anymore, after I saw one guy drinking directly from the jar. Not touching it with his lips, but it was enough for me to see, so that I will leave the jars alone in the future…

On Monday we went to Green Hotel for dinner and we ordered so much food, that I wasn’t sure, if we were able to finish it all. It’s so nice to eat with your friends so that you can try different kind of dishes. In Green Hotel the food is always excellent and now we have our own waiter Shivaling, because Brian overtipped him last time so much, that he literally loves us now. We got even tandoori salad before the oven was even open for other people. This is very typical thing in India, you can always pass the barriers with extra rupees. It’s sad, but it’s so true.

My last week’s practices 55, 56 and Monday’s practice 57 have been quite challenging. My back is giving me serious warnings, that it isn’t enjoying its time as much as I am enjoying my time in Mysore. On Sunday I got really scared, when I felt similar pain as when the disc between the vertebras came out during last Christmas and whole right side of my back was really hard and I felt how the muscles were totally stuck against the spine. I went to see Heidi and she gave me a light massage, but the right side is still getting cramps all the time and muscles aren’t working normally. I have been streching lightly and trying to observe the situation. I didn’t do dropbacks on Monday. My practice was quite good, but I have to be now supercareful. I have been using tiger balm, but it seems that it isn’t helping me. Tomorrow morning I have to think, if I am able to practice and how easily I have to practice. It is very difficult to find a balance with this problem. I want to practice, but I have to be also able to take some time off, if the back is hurting (before it’s too late). The massage course would start on 25th of December, but I don’t want to put any extra weight on my back and I decided that I am not starting it.

Tomorrow will be exciting day, because me and Swedish Linda-Maria are going to take care of Santosha’s breakfast. It’s my comeback as a waitress. I used to earn extra money during my studies as waitress and now I am going to freelance as waitress in Santosha. Ann and Magnus are going for their kids’ Christmas party to their school and we will help out a little bit in Santosha. Will be fun for sure!

I am now waiting my Christmas spirit to arrive, when Aimee will be back home tonight from Goa. I hope that she and her mum have had a lot of fun there, but we all are so happy to get them back here. Aimee is so good organizing parties and keeping the spirits up. We have to start to do some serious Christmas plans now. One thing is sure, we will practice normally through the whole Christmas time. The Christmas feeling hasn’t arrived here yet, but let’s see, if the coming days will create it. On Facebook I can see, how people are decorating their Christmas trees in Finland. Feels so strange here. At least I got a little bit Christmas feeling from home, when my sister sent me a Christmas calender and Christmas letter.

Enjoy your Christmas preparations!

16 Dec 2010

Practice N:o 54

Today’s practice was heavy. I felt that the whole energy was quite heavy today. One of my friends was crying in front of the Shala, when we went in. Yesterday here was a little tragedy, when one of the street dogs fell from the roof and died. Many yogis were there yesterday, saw the dog and they all were really upset.

Arne, who has been assisting here, left yesterday. We went for a goodbye lunch to an Italian restaurant and last night we gathered to Arne’s place. I made him a scarf and he gave me and Bubba blankets. It’s so sad to say goodbyes. This morning I said bye to Aimee and her mum, because they went to Goa for a little holiday. Luckily they are coming back, but right now Bubba and I are so lost here. Today, we will try to a new restaurant (called Vivian's) for me as well as we try to chear up a little bit.

Sometimes the practice can feel very mechanical. You just go through the poses, you don’t think that much. You almoust hope, that it’s done and you can go home and rest. Today I took a long Savasana at home, I slept three hours after my practice! I think that the sleep was very needed.

I did dropbacks today with Sharath and I had the wrong timing again. My back felt a little bit wierd yesterday, so I took easily today. No pain now, I think, that my back is just getting used to a new pose. Also Supta Kurma was yesterday really deep, which can affect the lower back.

I am so happy that I don’t have to be in Helsinki now. There is so much snow and I just got a message from Finland, that in Kajaani (where my parents live), there will be a cold Christmas. I wish I can spend my Christmas by the pool...

Try to hang on there Finns!

Practices N:o 51, 52 + 53 and Goodbyes

This week has been a good practice week. On Monday I had a really good practice and Saraswati told me that ”Today, possible.”, when I was doing backbendings. So I went down with her and it was okey. No pain and she lifted me up steadily. I still have no idea, how to come up, but she is very strong woman and she can take me up without problem. Yesterday I did the dropbacks with Sharath and we were laughing afterwards, because I know, that I am so heavy and he is just lifting me up. I hope that one day I will figure out, how to come up. Today I felt a light pain in my back, because I had completely wrong timing with Saraswati and then I was holding her arm, when I came up, because I was in such a wrong position. But all in all, it’s good to practice dropbacks and not feel so much pain.

Today my practice was heavy, but I just decided that I won’t care. I did Marichyasana three times on the left side, before I was able to close it. Sharath was standing next to me, when I finally closed and broke my nail at the same time. His face was worth to see, when I opened the pose and just took off my nail. Hah. I bet he saw a glimpse of my crazy pitta side today! He adjusted me with Supta Kurma, which is still extremely stiff, but today I got the best adjustment. He really pushed hard my lower back and my back was actually straight at least for a while. It is so good, when my back is straight, it is just so difficult to get it straight on my own. When the back is straight, then the weight goes right and the whole pose is more comfortable.

So actually when you really struggle and then you manage to do something, you learn the most. You learn, how strong your mind actually can be and you don’t give up too easily. It is very wicked thing that balance between pushing hard, but not too hard. Day by day I am learning more about my body and my mind, too. When I am listening my body more, I am making slow, but good progress. Sometimes the mind gets over and I forget the whole ahimsa, but during the next day I always try to start with calm mind. For me, ashtanga is most of all a very demanding mental practice.

This week is an enermous goodbye week. This is the only thing, which I don’t like in Mysore. I hate saying goodbyes. Yesterday was specially hard, because my dear friend Maria left. Maria has been one of my best friends here and I really miss her already. She is the best vegetarian soup cook, who I know, and her lemon rice is a killer. She is very beautiful and her smile is the best. Also my friend from Chile, Sebastian, left in the beginning of this week and soon Arne leaves to London. Aimee and her mum are going to Goa in the end of this week, so me, Bubba and Amberlin are kind of lost here. I hope that I could keep all this fantastic persons here forever, but it’s not possible. Hopefully, we see each other soon around the world. Or sooner or later, herein Mysore again.

Practice 50!

Yes, today I did my practice N:o 50 here. I am so happy that I have been able to practice here the whole time. I still feel pain in my back, but I can manage with that pain. In general, my body seems to be quite tired now, because after one day off, I still had quite hard time today with my practice. I was happy to be practicing next to Michael from Chile, who has practiced long time with John Scott. Michael’s practice is very energetic and strong, so I got part of his good flow.

I had a sleepless night again. That is affecting my practice a lot. I am shaking in Navasana and Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana is very wobbling. I usually don’t have difficulties to keep the balancing poses up in the end of Primary Series, but now I am shaking there, too. I really wish that I will get my sleep back soon, because I need that strength, which you get from your sleep. Otherwise the coming week will be so demanding. However, I was pleased with my Primary Series today, because I closed Marichyasana D on both sides again and felt only light pain on my back.

Yesterday I studied massaging techniques with Heidi. It was a good session and I was so happy to learn new things. Heidi works in Finland as a massage therapist and I really liked her massage. Like I thought, right side of my body is very blocked, but I was able to feel straight after the massage, which showed, how useful it was. I felt very relaxed, even sleepy. Unfortunately I couldn’t find that sleepy feeling, when I was going to bed. The massage course with Kumar should start in 20 or 22nd of December, but I haven’t received any new info. It will be quite demanding for my body too, because massaging is very physical and takes lot of your energy. I want to learn a little bit about different kind of bodies and anatomy before I go to Thailand, because I haven’t really studied anatomy before and it is so useful, what comes to your practice and adjusting.

I watched second group’s practice today again. It was nice to see Heidi’s practice properly today, because she has been practicing a lot in the corner before. She has a very strong practice and open back. At the moment only two girls are doing the whole led Second Series, but I think, that this is going to change during the coming two months, because new people are coming and the core group will change. It will be very interesting to see, what kind of like practices people will show in January, when the busiest time in Shala will start.

Aimee’s mum arrived here last week and today I am going to see Maria’s mum. It’s so much fun that their mums are here. Maria’s mum is a certified teacher and also Aimee’s mum has practiced here before with Saraswati. I wish that my mum would be here too. She would like these people and she could easily start practicing with Saraswati. My mum has been practicing yoga longer than I have, but she does hatha yoga. Actually my whole family does yoga, because my dad started yoga this autumn and my sister has also studied some ashtanga. In Guruji book people say, that children, who are born in yoga families, are blessed ones. I personally believe that my mum and dad has given me a very good example, what comes to healty lifestyle and importance of regular sports. I think that my parents look very young on their age and I would be more than pleased to be in such a good shape, when I will get older. Like Guruji says, yoga is for everyone, only not for lazy people.

Practices N:o 47, 48 and 49

Thanks God is Friday! Huoh. This whole week has been really heavy. I have struggleg much with my practice, because I haven’t been sleeping. Last night I woke up, when it was midnight and stayed awake until my alarm rang at 3.30 a.m. During the practice I was just shaking and waiting the whole thing to end. I couldn’t even do chakrasana properly and even kids can do that one. I was so shame to show something like that to Sharath, that it was hard to resist the feeling just walk out. After my practice I tried to sleep, but my dreams were really restless.

Tomorrow I am only going to rest. I need some serious sleep.

My practice time is now 4.30 Shala time (4.15 regular time). I like the first group a lot. You can select your spot, start calmly and people around you are really focused on their own practices. We all do the mantra together and then I feel that the energy is sort of coming together then. Sharath has also more time to watch our practices, because he doesn’t have to take care of so much about calling people.

This week was rough, because of my lack of sleep. Saraswati also wants me to go down in dropbacks and I have refused to do that during the whole week. She is giving me some heat because of that and maybe next week I am obliged to go down also with her. My practice is stuck, Supta Kurmasana isn’t really going forward and I still don’t have idea, how to come up from Urdva Dhanurasana. Setu Banddha is maybe lightly better, but that must be the only proggres from this week’s practices. But that’s the way it is. You go forward and then you go back. My lack of sleep can also be caused by dropbacks. People say that often dropbacks energize a lot and I have a long history regarding sleep problems, so it maybe takes a little bit time to adapt this new pose.

At least my eating during this week has been better and healtier. Yesterday I went with Heidi to local post office and afterthat we went to Barista. I had a mango smoothie and then we headed to 6th Main, which is one of my favorit restaurants here. I ate Malai Kofta, which is vegetable ball in cream sauce. On Wednesday I had a lovely lunch with my new Swedish neighbour Linda-Maria and Anna from Amsterdam. We ate in Green Garden and I had my regular tandoori salad, which is roasted, spicy vegetables and absolutely my favorit dish here so far. After our lunch we walked around and went to see the cafeterian inside. There you can have a tea and eat cake. Have to test someday…

Today is full of food dates, which is very typical Friday in Mysore. I skipped this morning’s group breakfast in Santosha, because I was trying to sleep. We are going to have a group lunch in new place and tonight we have Supper Club in Italian style. This will be Maria’s last Supper Club and I am already missing her. This week we had also once Breakfast Club in Aimee’s place and then we said goodbyes to Canadien Sonja. Canadien Darcy left back home also during this week and we had breakfast with her on Thursday. Many of my good friends are leaving before Christmas, so I feel a bit sad. Luckily Aimee, Bubba, Ann and Amberlin are here for a long time with me and some new Finnish people are coming around in January. The hardiest thing here seems to be saying goodbyes to great friends.

7 Dec 2010

Practice Nro 46 and Ayervedic Consultation

Today’s practice was good, normal practice. Shala was cold and I didn’t sweat that much as usually, but I started to take really deep breaths from the beginning and got my body warmed up. We have now new assistants and I got quite many adjustments. Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana was a fiasco today. I don’t know, if the assistant was trying to push me down or what, but I ended up jumping to the mat of the poor guy next to me. Assistant was taking my leg too high and I was obliged to tell her to take it lower. She has a very nice grip, but not yet the sense to feel, when I am facing my limits. And once again I noticed, that tall people has difficulties to adjust me. On the otherhand I got a really nice adjustment in Paschimottanasana.

Saraswati came to me, when it was time to do the dropbacks. I did four smalls, but didn’t go down. My back feels really good now and I don’t want to risk anything. She really wanted me to go down, she said, that try, but I just refused to do that. Hopefully she didn’t take that in a wrong way, but I said to her, that I don’t want to risk anything and I know that she takes the students up very fast, which is maybe the worst adjustment for my back. Fingers crossed that Sharath is next to me tomorrow…

On Sunday I went to see Ann again to talk about the ayervedic consultation. First indication about my dosha is vata and deep pulse is very strong pitta. I have dry tissues, which is typical thing for the women from Norden countries. Vata type (air) is connected to enthusiasm and lightness. The things what I noticed that I have common with vata type are for example light sleep, anxiety, inregularity in energy level and dry hair. On the other hand from my pitta side comes everything hot in me. Pitta (fire) is connected for example to courage and strong energy. My energy is very strong and it is useful, but it can also go easily over and then I won’t get enough sleep. And sometimes I am really restless. My mind is very busy and during the practice I often go too fast.

It was interesting to notice, how much I found common with the consultation. Like Ann said, we yogis are very sensitive, what comes to our body. For example I have noticed, that I easily get really overexcited with my practice and everything else, so I have to focus much to calm down myself.

The list regarding good foods for me was also interesting. Based on my own experiences I knew, that nuts, soya, potatoes, onion and tomatoes aren’t good for me. Banana lassi, ghee, honey, warm milk, porridge, pasta and fried vegetables are recommended. I should avoid spicy food, which I actually like, but I have felt here, that it isn’t so good for me. I should also add salt to my water, because my body gets really easily dry. So I suppose the best indicator, what to have and what to avoid is my body. I should listen to the symptoms more carefully. Ann also advised me to eat more often. I have had here three meals per day and I haven’t been eating any snacks. It doesn’t really work for me and it’s too heavy for my digestion. So now I try to eat more often and I should eat the heaviest meal of the day before 2 p.m. And I shouldn’t eat chocolate, which I don’t actually like that much, but it is the only candy here. I try to learn to take the sugar from my food and keep my glucos levels more balanced. I found that it’s very hard to change your eating habits, but I try to make small changes daily. I was happy to hear that I don’t have to give up eating bread, but the bread should be always toasted. Auervedic diet differs from the typical Western diet quite much, because it includes for example very much oils and quite much carbohydrates and I think that the approach in general is more holistic than in Western diets.

I love mornings and I feel very calm always during the mornings. This also matches with ayerveda, because early morning and night after 6 p.m. is the kapha time. I haven’t been sleeping that much after my practice lately, because I just love the morning energy and I found that quite long Sirsasana returns my energy back, so I don’t feel so tired after the practice anymore. Finishing poses are extremely important and I have really found the usefulness of those poses here.

Have a very energetic day!

6 Dec 2010

Practice 45 / Like Getting Back to School after Summer Holidays…

What comes to this weekend, it was just perfect! Me, Maria, Ashley, Bubba, Aimee and Amberlin went to an amazing temple nearby on Saturday and Sunday was a sunny pool day, which we started by having a lovely breakfast in Anouki’s garden (if you ever go there, you should try fresh coriander+pineapple+grapefruit juice and vegetarian crêpes). Sometimes you hope that the weekend never ends and this weekend was exactly like that. On Friday in Bubba’s Mansion we ate fresh pesto made by Maria, pasta with tomato sauce, spicy thai soup à la Bubba and cakes, which Sonja brought for us. After Saturday’s temple tour the whole gang headed to Green Hotel and we shared all our dishes together (banana lassi, palak paneer, coconut and jeera rice, vegetarian curry, raita, papadum with onion and fresh tomatoes, chai, ginger tea etc. etc. etc.). During the whole weekend food was delicious and the company was even more delicious!

Monday morning felt like going back to school after summer holidays. You have to do it and you don’t feel like doing it at all. Yesterday I had an enormous energy, but this morning there was none left. So I went to the Shala and I did my very plain, led class practice. No big hoorays, but just simple routine practice. My back felt really good after two days off, but otherwise there was the normal stiffness which always exists after some time off. For some reason I got really frustrated, when one new person took the place where I am usually practicing during the led classes. That was really ridiculous, because you have to be able to practice everywhere, but this morning was very grumpy for me. I was very restless through the whole practice and even went to look for a water bottle, because nobody sprayed my hands. Hah. It’s so funny, how pissed off you can sometimes be without no reason. I think that somehow the energy still feels very different, because of the new people and I am not used to it yet. We all, who have been here already for a while, are a bit upset, because our friends have gone and we feel that we don’t have that much energy or interest to make new friends. I know, that this will change soon, but it’s like sort of grieving period before we are ready to make new friends again.

After the practice I watched the second group. It was easy to notice, that the days off had affected the practices. Some of the people were full of energy and the others were really unbalanced. This was first time, when I saw, that one girl, whose practice is the most stable, which I have ever seen live, was shaking and even came down from an asana. On the other hand Thomas, who is very tall, showed a very beautiful Pincha-Mayurasana today. Because the second group is now way bigger than before, also Saraswati walked around the Shala and assisted some students from the second group. It was funny to see, how Sharath and Saraswati communicate. Sharath gave one asana more to one Brasilian guy, but Saraswati said, that his asana before wasn’t properly done, so he didn’t get one asana more. Saraswati also wanted to start her class early, when Sharath said that his students have to be in front, so that they can do backbendings. And then Sharath had some of his Indian VIPs practicing in the Shala also. So the whole shift for the second group was sort of controlled chaos. Sharath is very talented to handle a big amont of people coming and going.

Watching the second group’s practice is absolutely one of my favorit things here. It’s so much fun to see, how they make progress, how they go back in their practice and how they come forward again. It’s so cool to see, when someone does a break through in his practice. I have also started to observe the adjustment techiques, which Sharath uses. I am sure that Sharath’s led second series class is the hardest in the world, which you can take. Still some people can do it every week and at the moment here is Finnish Heidi among them.

Happy Independence Day Finland!

Practice 44 and Freedom!

Last night I woke up at 2 a.m. because there was some Indian party going on in Gokulam and they played music loud. After that I slept maybe 15 minutes and my alarm rang at 3.30 a.m. Music was still there. I was just thinking that yoga people are the lousest party people, because we go to practice, when the party people start to go home.

Today I was practicing between Lock and Darcy. Starting from the first down dog, I knew that this practice would be long and challenging. I think that this was the first time in my life, when my shoulders hurted. It’s exactly like Sharath says: ”New asana, new pain.” I think that my dropbacks have been laying too much on my shoulders and that’s why I am getting this soreness. During next week I have to focus more on my legs and getting the weight over my legs during the whole practice. I have so strong upper body, that I think that I have a habit to put a little too much weight on it. I need more banddha work…

Sharath started the practice again by entertaining us. He wanted to get one more person to practice on the stand and he called ”One short and sweet!”. After that Arne (who was heading to the stand) went back to the waiting room for his practice and one tiny Asian looking girl showed up from the waiting room. We all had so much difficulties to keep our faces straight, because she matched exactly to the description ”short and sweet”.

Today I thought that Sirsasana took forever. Utplutih was shorter than normally, but I still couldn’t keep it up. I think that this week was the hardest one for me so far. My practice is longer, this was a whole practice week and I am back on dropbacks. Sharath assisted me today with Uthita Hasta Padangustasana, which is actually now better than before, as well as with Urdva Mukha Paschimottanasana. I think that Ubhaya Padangusthasana showed today, how tired I was. I fell down with that asana first time in my life after I had already found the balancing point. I kept almoust two Urdva Dhanurasanas up and didn’t cheat too much in Setu Banddha. I have to be pleased with this week too and tonight I am heading to Bubba’s Mysore Mansion to get some pasta in me. We have two days off and we all are happy with that!

New Card and Practice 43

Yesterday I went to see Sharath and pay my fee for December. Sharath isn’t really chitty chatty person, so you just go there and pay your fee. I just spoked with Ann, how it feels that everything disappears from your head, when you go there. Before you always think, that you want to ask something or tell him something, but there you sit still and quiet. It felt weird to see that my card will expire during the coming year. Time goes so fast here and New Year is really almoust here.

I got the second last spot from the Shala today and Ann got the last one next to me. We were practicing in the last row, where the floor is cold and hard. After my practice I spoke with Heidi and she said, that I could go in earlier and get a better spot. So I think that tomorrow, I will do that.

I had a normal practice today. Shala was quite cold, but humid, so the practice felt quite stiff in the beginning. I really tried to focus on my breathing during Suryanamaskaras to warm up my body. Today I was practicing again without adjustments. I forgot Baddhakonasana, so I repeated three asanas twice, when I noticed my mistake. Sharath assisted me with dropbacks and I went down once. The problem with dropbacks is the same than before, which means, that I can go down, but I can’t come up. Sharath literally pulls me up. Heidi advised me to start to create the movement of forward and up already with Urdva Dhanurasana. I will start to practice that tomorrow, because otherwise Sharath will break his back with me… I can feel that I have used my arms more than usually during this week, because my shoulders are sore. We are going to have two days off during this weekend, so hopefully sun will shine and I can go to a pool to rest my shoulders and whole body.

Christmas Time and Practice 42

It doesn’t feel at all like a Christmas here. No darkness, no lights, no Christmas carrols, no all that crazyness in stores. I have to say that the Finnish Christmas is the best, in good and in bad. I have spent Christmas abroad many times and haven’t really felt that Christmas joyfulness abroad. I am not a Christmas person, so I don’t miss Christmas, but I miss my Mami’s food and chocolate. I think that Christmas isn’t the same in those countries, where they don’t have snow. Snow and coldness someway make the Christmas for me. But I am really looking forward to, how Christmas will be here. I have so many good people around me now, that I am sure, that we will have an awesome Christmas here, even without snow.

I went this morning to Santosha to see Ann. I had an ayervedic consultation with her and I am already so eager to hear her opinion. Her first impression was that the fire inside of me is very powerful. I wasn’t too suprised to hear that lot of pitta runs in my veins. Hah. I think that my whole family is full of pitta persons and you know, what comes from that. Strong characters, busy minds and sleeplesness. It will be interesting to hear about my other doshas, too and I am really looking forward to get some nutrition as well as other lifestyle tips.

Today’s practice was sticky. This whole week has been quite challenging. Many people (including my friends Ahu, Malissa and Ingeborg) have gone now and the energy in Shala has changed. It takes a bit time to get used to it. It was so comfortable for a long time practice so that all your friends were around you. Now I have had a different spot every morning and more people have been coming and going. I missed the mantra this morning also, because I was running late. I am sure, that during the next week this situation will be more stable again and then the peace will come back.

My back feels suprisingly good now. After Sharath’s adjustment yesterday, I didn’t really feel pain during the whole day. This morning Saraswati was assisting me and I didn’t go down. This was first time, when Saraswati was assisting me and it takes time for me to trust on a new assistant. I am so oversensitive because of my back, that I don’t yet want to go down with other assistants.

But I am really looking forward to this new month. Today I will go and pay my fee to Sharath for December. I am planning to do a massage course during this month also, so I can’t wait to learn all those new things, which this month will offer me!

Practices 40 and 41

Monday’s practice was again, how it often is. Stiff and a little bit unfocused. I started backbendings with Sharath, did four smalls, but didn’t go down. It was a good start, because I wasn’t too scared. Shala was quite cold today, because it has been rather cold outside. I think that the night was the coldest here during my whole visit. That’s why Supta Kurma was also so sticky and Thomas couldn’t really help me to close it. Marichyasana D has been difficult to close again, but I don’t worry about it. I know, that I can close it, but I want to take it easy for a while. I did longer finishing poses today and it felt good.

I haven’t really watched out, what I have been eating lately and that affects my practice. Sugar makes me stiff and too much nuts are making me heavy. If I don’t eat within ten hours before my practice, I can feel a huge difference. Practice is so much lighter and I can use my bandhas in a best way. Hopefully I will someday learn to eat in a right way. I love healthy food, but I don’t like to cook. That’s why, it’s brilliant to hang out with Aimee and Maria, because they are so good cooks. I have never been into chocolate that much, but that’s the only candy here, so I have noticed, that I am now too good friend with the famous chocolate man here…

Today I was practicing without adjustments until dropbacks. I was practicing next to American Stacy and she did the whole Second Series. It was quite fun, when Sharath was assisting her with the dropbacks and she touched her knees. Then Sharath watched me and said to me: ”Next.” Hah. Sharath can be so hilarious, because he knows my back problems and can make jokes about it. Today I went down first time. I didn’t feel any pain and Sharath lifted me up. Everything else is okay with dropbacks, but I don’t know, how to come up. I wasn’t afraid of doing dropbacks, because Sharath was supporting me well and I feel that he won’t let me drop down. It’s good to proceed slowly. I noticed, that it is really good to do longer finishing poses. My back feels better, when I keep Sirsasana up for a very long time. Slow progress and baby steps…

29 Nov 2010

Friday’s Supper Club, Saturday’s Handcraft Market, Sunday’s Practice Nro 39 and Conference

Time is just flying here! My third month starts soon… On Friday we had a small Supper Club. Me, Brian, Malissa, Maria and Aimee spent a hilarious night in Aimee’s place. For some reason, we all went totally wild and ended up shooting crazy pictures, creating porn names and laughing our brains out. Food was delicious as always and I had one of my favorit dishes, which is Maria’s lemon rice. Fresh coriander, coconut milk, roasted peanuts, fresh lime or citron are some ingredients of the secret recipe…

Day off on Saturday went so quickly. We had a lovely breakfast in Anouki’s (I ate vegan crepes and house’s famous fruit salad, of course chai on the side) and after that we headed to Handcraft Market, which was mostly organized by Sonja and Ashley. They sold handcrafts to collect money against human trafficking. I bought some cards and we spent the whole day hanging out on terrace. The weather was perfect for the market and I think that we all just enjoyed the day.

This morning I headed to the Shala after quite good sleep. I practiced on my favorit spot, next to people, who I didn’t know and Helena behind me. Sharath was assisting me four times! First with Uthita Hasta Padangustasana, then with Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. He came over me also during Marichyasana D, which was very sticky today, but finally I closed it by myself. Then he helped me to close properly Urhva Mukha Paschimattanasana and told me: ”Don’t fall!”, when he rushed to help someone else. I know, I am really spoilt here…

After my practice, I watched the second group practicing. I was happy to see that there was a girl, who had exactly the same body type as mine practicing among the other stars. Huh. That gave me hope, because this curvy body of mine isn’t really the most ideal one for ashtanga. In the beginning of the second group’s practice Sharath told one girl not to practice with that group. You can practice with second group only, if Sharath invites you to practice with them. Sharath gave his best today, when he showed to the second group, how Mayurasana should be balanced. Not head up, not legs up, but equally balanced. Hah. It’s easy, when you can, and Sharath can show asana like that without any preparations!

After my practice I went for a breakfast to Santosha and chatted with Ann and American Maggie. After that I had chanting class and then Aimee gave me the most relaxing massage. It was so fantastic just to lay still during one hour and enjoy the music plus Aimee’s perfect treatment. We hanged out in her place until it was time to go to this week’s conference. The conference was very entertaining today. Sharath’s daughter wanted to sing to us and it was so cute. Sharath talked about bindu and the importance of Sirsasana as well as other finishing poses. Once again he repeated to us, how we should behave here, because one student of our school had caused here problems for him and at the same time to our school. It’s unbelievable, how difficult it is for some people to understand, that this isn’t Europe or the States. Local people are all the time watching us and everything goes to Sharath’s ears, if we misbehave. Lovely conference however and I really appreciated, how Sharath handled this problem very openly.

I have very good feeling to start this week. I am a bit nervous about the drop backs, but hopefully this week goes smoothly and maybe I can practice next to my Mysore magic Lock tomorrow… Can’t wait!

26 Nov 2010

My Practices 37 and 38 + Thanksgiving Lunch

This week has gone extremely fast. Time is really flying here and a couple of my best friends are leaving now. Quite many people are traveling back home for the Christmas or they are going to Goa to practice with Rolf and Marcy. Many people here respect Rolf highly and have told that he is really amazing. I am happy to be here with Sharath. Goa is a cool place to go, but I feel that for me it’s better to stay here the whole time in India. In any case Sharath is the reason, why I am here.

Yesterday I practiced next to Malissa. I got the last spot in the Shala and I was on the last row, really in the corner. However, I liked the spot and we had much fun with Malissa, when she was transfering from Bjudapidasana to Bakasana and I was practicing Supta Kurma. She literally put her foot over my head and went all the way down to my lower back. We just giggled there like little kids. It was so funny, maybe the most relaxed Supta Kurma ever!

I had a very focused practice anyway, even that I was a bit nervous, because Sharath told me yesterday to start my backbendings now. I went to talk with him yesterday and told him about my back problems as well as long the break. He was as nice as he always is for me. I told him too that I haven’t really learned to do the backbendings and he said, that he will teach me. He told me to take it easy and do three backbendings during this week and next week we start to do more. So I did my normal Urdva Dhanurasana three times and then watched him, but he showed me that no more today. I was quite releaved, because now I have a couple of more days to practice mentally and build up my courage.

After the practice I went home and had a little nap. After that I rushed to Aimee’s and we started the preparations for Thanksgiving lunch. Me and Malissa made Polish pies with potato and onion filling. It was so much fun, because Malissa hadn’t done those ever before and the dough was so sticky. Hah. Finally be managed to do some pretty ones. Aimee made pumpkin pie and we went to Santosha to cook it (that’s the only place where is the oven here). Ann and Magnus weren’t in, so we just walked in and started to figure out, how to light the oven. That was really an adventure and we called a cook and finally went online and found the instructions, how to turn the Indian oven on… And the funniest thing was, when we arrived and the cleaning lady told us to close the door, because ”Problem. Monkey coming!”. Yes, here we have to close the door, so that the monkeys are not coming in and stealing the food.

Brian’s Thanksgiving was an enormous success. We had over 50 yogis packed in to his place. And the food!!! I so wished that all the meat eaters would have been there. I mean there was all sorts of delicious dishes on the table from various countries. American pumpkin pie, Turkish rice, Polish potato pies, Indian rice, various different salads, coconut-cashew energy balls, hummus and corn bread, icecream and cakes just to start… Here I have had so many good dishes, that I am all the time telling that in India the food is always good, you never know, what it is exactly, but it’s always good.

On Friday morning I woke up and felt that little flu was coming. I was very exhausted last night, because my sleeping problems have continued during the whole week. I woke up again at 1 a.m. and couldn’t get a sleep after that. I went to the Shala anyway, because my body didn’t feel too sore. The led class went actually quite well. It’s good to notice, that my practice goes ok, even when I am not in the best shape. Sharath again entertaining us, when he said: ”Why hurrying?” ”Chinese!!!”, when some people went too fast. The energy in the Shala is extremely good. Sharath is always very relaxed with our group and students are pushing, but not in a bad way. We have had many good laughts together and you can feel the joy of the practice around you. Ashtanga is perfect, when it is not too serious.

My Practices Nro 35 & 36

H-E-A-V-Y, that’s the word to describe my past practices. I have been lucky to practice next to Lock, my magic, but still I have felt the practice very intense and demanding. The energy yesterday in the Shala was so heavy. Both me and Lock felt completely beated up during and after the practice. I even saw him walking between some asanas and he is the guy, who can do all the liftings nicely directly to the poses. Somebody has eaten all my energy and I want it back!

Of course the practice is very demanding now, because I got the whole Primary together. I love to practice the whole serie. The practice feels good and I love the final poses. It’s so nice to roll around and really test your balance. Today, we had so funny moment, when one Japanese guy, Jumpe, did a very Japanese sound in the middle of the practice and Sharath said: ”No Samurai!”. Hah. We just cracked up totally and I couldn’t watch Lock next to me during the coming asanas, because I would have started to laugh so much. It was so hilarious, the whole Shala was laughing and we had so much difficulties to keep our faces straight.

The Shala is full now. Yesterday, when I arrived, there were only two empty spots and today both waiting room as well as changing room were full of people doing finishing poses. I am so pleased to start almoust in the first group, so I don’t have to wait before my practice. Now we have to be really awake, when doing for example Garbha Pindasana, so that we don’t roll over each others’ mats. But you can just imagine, how intense the practice is, when there is almoust hundered persons practicing next to each other. Energy is so strong!

Ahu will be leaving on Friday as well as Malissa. We have had such a nice group here and many people have said, that this has been their best time in Mysore. I am so gonna miss the girls, but before goodbyes, we are going to have a Thanksgiving lunch together. Hey. Brian’s house will be full, because over 50 persons have been invited. Can’t wait that party!!!

22 Nov 2010

Two Days Off Behind and Practice Nro 34

I don’t like days off. I mean one day off per week is okay, but moon days and all the festivals on top of that is too much. My body comes stiff and I start to feel restless. Actually this time I had nice two days off.

On Friday we went out to a place called Road. It was fun, because the place was so awesome. Like directly from Twin Peaks with elks on the wall. Hah. Almoust only foreigners and some weird Indians. Gotta tell you that it was first time, when I went out and I was at home before midnight. Yoga people aren’t really party animals, but nice people anyway. The best part of that night was, when we drived around the city. I love India by night and by bike. The most beautiful view must be the main road here, because all the trees are growing along the street and those form ”a roof” over the street. So you are literally under the trees, when passing by. It’s so beautiful during night with all the lights and empty street.

On Saturday I spent the day by the pool. Here is a hotel called Southern Star and the pool area was full of yogis relaxing and enjoying the sun. This was first time for me on the pool and I enjoyed so much, because sun and pool are like my best friends. Would be nice to get some tan before Thailand, but I think that I won’t go there that often.

On Sunday I met with Finnish Heidi and we went to down town by her scooter. I bought some wool again and went to Rashinkar, too. This time it was nicer than the first time, because people stayed quite far away from us. Maybe because Heidi is a tall girl with dreadlocks, so I can easily just walk behind her back and avoid the people coming too near. The rest of the day I layed on Aimee’s sofa and watched, when she was piercing Sonja’s ears. Cool stuff…

This morning I woke up exhausted. I couldn’t get sleep last night and the night before. Moon is stealing my dream and I have only been dreaming really weird dreams. Between Saturday and Sunday I stayed awake from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. Gosh. It was so annoying.

Today’s practice was ok. It’s a bit scary combination, when you haven’t had that much sleep, but you are stronger than usually because of the two days off. You can easily over-strecht or do something other stupid, when you don’t concentrate properly. I totally forgot to do Supta Padangusthasana and was waiting in wrong position until I realized that I was doing a wrong asana… Nobody was assisting me today and I was next to a really tall guy, who was already before the class sorry about his size. Everything went quite okay anyway keeping in mind the circumstances. After my practice I slept 1,5 hours and woke up with mixed mind. Time to have some food and clear my head!

21 Nov 2010

Practice 32 & 33

So Thursday was very sticky. I actually knew it in beforehand, because often after very good practice comes the tired one. When you have tested your limits during the day before, you will feel it in your body day after. Yesterday I had also chanting and philosophy and during the late afternoon, we had extra program, when Arne and Heidi wanted to do some fire crackers in front of the Shala. The festival season is over now, yesterday we celebrated Tulsi and maybe now the nights will be calmer.

This morning I woke up full of energy and was happy to go to the Shala. I always love the practice before day off, because then you can work as hard as you can and relax after that. You don’t have to be so careful to not overstrech or make yourself exhausted, because you will have time to recover.

I practiced again next to Lock and he seems to be my macig man. I love his calm, balanced practice and today I was even so comfortable next to him, that I put my leg over his chest in Supta Padangustasana. Hahaa, to be honest Sharath allowed me to practice first time until the end in Primary today and that’s why I was running late in Supta Padangustasana and my leg was coming over Lock.

I am so happy that I can now practice the whole serie! I can start to build up my strength properly and the last asanas (except Setu Bandha) are my favorits, so I can enjoy even more about my practice, if possible. Sharath really suprised me today, because usually he has given me only one pose more, but today he showed me to do until the end and assisted me with Setu Bandha, too. Setu Bandha is a killer. I am getting awful headache because of that asana, so I have to ask tips from my friends, how to do it. I have to put all my focus on Urdva Dhanurasana, because Sharath was again today asking me to take it up. I just whispered quickly, that I have back problems and after that he said that spred your legs, so that the asana will be easier. I think that I have to visit him soon and tell him about my back condition. Today my adrenaline level was so high that I didn’t feel any pain during the practice. Now I have some muscle pain, but the back is suprisingly okey.

Sunday will be a moon day, so two days off now. This is great, because we all need rest. Many people have had a really rough week and tonight we are going to take it easy and have a Mexican fiesta. Holaa chicas!!!

17 Nov 2010

Claudia’s B-day, Singing Kirtans and Practice Nro 31

Last night I went to celebrate my Brasilian friend Claudia’s birthday. I met Claudia this summer in Stockholm, when we were practicing with Dena. The circle came around and we met herein Mysore again. I saw her a couple of days ago in Anu’s Cafe and got an invitation for her birthday party.

I arrived to her place really early, because I thought that I would stay only a little time. Claudia had decorated her appartment nicely and prepared some chai for us. We had quite big group of yogis sitting down on the pillows and waiting the singing to start. I sat next to Mexican Arne and he asked me, how to sing ”Happy Birthday to you” in Finnish. So when we had song ”Happy Birthday to Claudia” in Portugese, Spanish and English, Arne started to sing in Finnish and I was obligated to sing along. Hah. Arne is a funny guy! After that we ate cake and sang some kirtans. Bubba gave me a lift home around eight and that was late for us yogis.

This morning I woke up before my alarm rang. I didn’t have that much sleep, but I felt already last night that I was really full of energy. As always, me and Ann rushed to the Shala just before mantra. I got my favorit spot near the door and Lock was practicing next to me. Lock has a really strong and very well-balanced practice, so I got into very nice flow with him. I love to practice next to someone, who has so balanced practice.

Today practice was flying and I didn’t feel any pain. I was very flexible, but strong at the same time. I think that this maybe was my best practice until now. I was just enjoying every minute. Even Urdva Dhanurasana was quite light. I was specially pleased with my transfer from Supta Kurmasana to Bakasana. I did it again without touching the floor. Sharath assisted me with Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana on the left side, otherwise he let me flow. I did my new (old) asana Upavistha Konasana first time today. I like that asana, because the balancing part is quite easy for me. However I know, that Sharath expects us to come up with straight legs, so no way, that I am getting new asanas before that.

There’s still much work to do, but today’s practice and this whole week really gives me hope. Practice is going very well indeed.

30th Practice / Why I Respect Sharath So Highly?

I met Sharath first time in Finland, when he was on his European tour. I think that then there practiced over hundered persons in the same room, but still I sometimes felt that he was laughing at me and watching me carefully, when I was trying to do some tricky asanas.

I came here one month and a half ago and felt really deep connection with that guy in his too wide spandex shorts immediately, when I walked inside the Shala to practice here first time. When he sat in front of me to help me with Marichyasana D, I felt that he was really humble, not pride at all. I mean that person is the only one in the world, who has done all the series with Guruji and then he comes and sits in front of me, our heads facing on the equal level.

I feel that it was very much meant to be that I am here now.

I respect Sharath so highly, because I feel that he somehow sees through the persons. He treats the total beginners in the same way than the students who are really advanced. If you show him your dedication, your willingness to learn, he will give you his time and teachings. It doesn’t really matter, if you are the stiffiest person in the room or you are overflexible and can do amazing asanas directly, he gives you enough challenges and really appreciates your hard work.

I have been really pleased to see here, what kind of persons Sharath has been authorizing. He is not only authorizing the persons, who are the most advanced in asana. He can also see the persons, who have lot of qualities to become good teachers not only in asanas, but otherewise too. I feel that he can see the persons with good hearts. He can give you hard time too being very picky, demanding and strict, but deep inside of him, he seems to be kind, sweet, happy and wonderful person, real teacher. For me, he is pure yoga.

This morning my practice wasn’t really flying. I was very stiff and my back hurted a bit too. I just kept going and the practice got a little easier, when my body warmed up. Sharath assisted me with Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana and Supta Kurma. I did the transfer in the air from Supta Kurma to Bakasana, when he was standing in front of me. I was so proud of myself, that I didn’t touch the floor. Like I said before Sharath’s memory is amazing and he seems to see everything. So when I finished he came to me and said: ”Tomorrow, one asana more.”. I was very happy, because today wasn’t really my day, but it felt like he had seen me trying so much and wanted to give me a little reward.

Oh yes. The true meaning of ”Om vande gurunam caranaravinde” is starting to come very clear to me. Mysore is magic. Every morning and day.

15 Nov 2010

29th Practice

Indians seems to be really into fire crackers and fire works. Once again last night they wanted to make some noise and shooted fire works. And we yogis couldn’t sleep. That was so annoying, because I had a very relaxed feeling and I wanted to have a good sleep before my practice. Didn’t happen, you know.

Ann walked with me this morning to the Shala. We talked about yesterday’s conference and we both thought that it was a great meeting. Sharath was very open yesterday. I got my favorit spot next to Ursula and for a long time I practiced without any person on my right side. Practice was ok reminding my lousy sleep. Yesterday I knew that my practice would be pretty good, because my body felt good. The beginning of the practice week is usually the best, because during the last days of the practice week my muscles get tired and I feel some muscle pain. That’s why I was a bit upset that I wasn’t able to sleep well and get the best out of today’s practice.

Thomas assisted me with Supta Kurma, otherwise I practiced alone. My Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana is still disaster. I don’t know, what is wrong with that asana. I mean I don’t have problems with other balancing asanas. I think that I am still too stiff and that’s why my balance is totally lost in that asana. Supta Kurma has improved a little bit and now it’s easier to close my hands. We were so near each other, that in Garbha Pindasana I was afraid to go to other people’s mat and couldn’t do it properly. I went over Suzanne’s leg in that asana, so finally I just took it up and did Kukkutasana.

Now I have a feeling, that I would like to have more asanas. All my favorit asanas are in front of me in the sequence now, so I really have to try to show Sharath, that I can do the asanas, which he has already given me. I want to get stronger and when the practice is longer I can gain more strength. So I have to figure out some way, how I can do the Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana without shaking all the time...

Led Class, Santosha, Green Market, Chanting, Conference, Yoga Sutras…

As you can see from the subtitle, my Sunday was full of program. I am not here really in a busy, but I don’t have difficulties to spend my days… It’s brilliant to be able to decide your own scheduale. I can have long lunches with my friends, I can have a sleep after my practice, if I like and I can be alone, but I will meet everyday my friends, when I am walking around here or we have some common classes. This is very ideal way of living. Some people are working from here and I don’t see any problem with that either.

Today’s practice started in a bit nervous way, because we were moving the mats so that one guy could fit inside the shala. Then we started the practice and Sharath told him to do his practice in the waiting room. That was good, because we were really too near each other.

My body was still tired after last week’s practices and for example my knees were sore, which is very rare. Also the air inside the Shala was very heavy today and general energy felt a bit heavy too. However, my practice was ok. I kept Navasana and Sirsasana up the whole counting and also Utplutih was a bit better today. I got horrible adjustment in Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana, because the girl was adjusting me behind me, so I couldn’t grip my toe properly and felt extremely shaky. Sharath assisted me with Baddhakonasana, which was again very light adjustment. I have so much work to do with Urdva Dhanurasana and I would also like to figure out, how I can get my feet through in Bjudapidasana. I think, that I just have to ask Sharath, what’s wrong with those asanas. My back hurts still, so I don’t want to push myself to the extreames, but some slow progress in those asanas could be my next step. After my own class I watched the second group practicing. That group is getting also bigger, so there is more girls doing the advanced practice too.

We had a nice group breakfast in Santosha and after that I went to Green Market with Maria. We bought some lettuce, which was great, because I so miss fresh salads here. You have to be very careful with fresh products, so I boiled the salad in hot water before I ate it. Not really so fresh salad after that, but better than nothing. Chanting class was at 11 a.m. and after that I studied some sutras, so that it would be easier to follow the teacher during the afternoon's philosophy class.

Sharath was in a funny mood today and conference was much of fun. Once again we talked quite much about yamas and niyamas. Sharath showed some details regarding certain asanas and some people asked about drishtis. It was nice to notice, that in Annankatu teachers have teached the asanas in a correct way. Good point was that we shouldn’t touch the floor when we bend the knees in Suryanamaskara B and drishtis should be sharp and exact, not blurry. Sharath started the conference by asking, what is yoga. Three persons answered and one got it right. Sharath also talked about the importance of led class and asked, who weren’t present today’s led classes. Sharath said that from now on he will ask the people who are not present in led classes the reason, why they were absent. If the reason isn’t valid, they have to pay fine of 500 rupees. I don’t know, if he was kidding, but I would be ok with that system. Led classes are totally for our own good. It’s like a test twice a week, how your practice is progressing and can you count the vinyasas correctly. After conference I rushed to philosophy class and was back at home around six. Some food and then sleep, because tomorrow’s practice is early again. 4.45 a.m sharp!

13 Nov 2010

Supper Club and Running Away the Police

On Friday as usual we had Supper Club. This time Brian was our host and we got a chance to see his marvelous place. That guy has around four bedrooms and proper kitchen and some extra open space etc. His place near water tower is just great. This time we had a bigger group of people, but Brian stayed for a long time the only man in the house. Yes. We had around ten beautiful girls and Brian until Mexican Arne came along and improved a little bit equality between genders. We joked that Brian could easily have four wifes, because he has so much empty space in his place.

Aimee, the soul of our Supper Club, had a flu, but she had created anyway a delicious salad for us. Mademoiselle Maria Shanti made us spicy lentil soup, which was voted unanimously as the most popular dish of the day. And what you think about mixture of fresh cocos, goji berries and cashew nuts? Ahu’s eggplant dish had a wonderful Turkish flavour and I was happy to hear that my tsatsiki was also accepted by my Turkish friend. Our final course was raw chocolate pie from Anu’s Cafe, which is always a hit.

After all that food we headed to a charity event, which was organized by some yogis from our school to help Indian street kids. Brian was friendly to give me a lift to the event and we had quite experience on the way there. Of course we got lost and then the police tried to stop us on the main road, because were were driving without helmets. I would love to wear a helmet, because trafic here is sort of chaos, but people really don’t wear helmets here (and I don’t have my own helmet). The ticket regarding driving without helmet is 100 rupees, which isn’t much, so I believe that this is the main reason, why people go around without helmets. We didn’t stop, when the police man was trying to stop us, because one kid was shouting to us: ”Go,go,go!”. The police man hit Brian to his chest, but he didn’t start to follow us. I have to admit that after that drive I felt a bit shaky, but after all we arrived just on time to see the show. The best part of the show was, when the Indian kids were singing kirtans with one yogi. Hahaa. They got so excited, that they screamed, jumped around and boys were dancing to us, too. What a night!

26th and 27th Practice and Santosha

Huh. This week has been very demanding. Sounds ridiculous, but practicing is taking lot of my energy. This was my first week, which was actually whole meaning that I had six practices in a row. Here practice is so intense all the time, that it really takes all the juice out of you. But in a good way of course.

Yesterday’s practice was ok. I was quite tired and during the chanting class I all of the sudden realized that I had forgotten two asanas completely. It is so odd, that you do the same practice every morning, but you can still forget some asanas and you will notice it sometimes during the day after your morning practice. Sometimes I am waiting so much some certain asana, that I skip accidentally some other asanas.

Today’s class was led class again. It felt a little bit easier than last week’s led class. Maybe Sharath wasn’t so demanding today, because we had a long week behind us already. I was able to hold Navasana and Sirsasana the whole time, but Utplutih is still too much. My hands are totally over, when it’s time for Utplutih. I just don’t manage to do it. I also took only one Urdva Dhanurasana up. I want my back to be totally warm, when I take Urdva Dhanurasana up and that’s why during the led class I can only take it up once or twice. After today’s practice I felt that I had really given all and tomorrow’s day off will be really needed.

After practice I had some sleep and headed to Santosha again. I love to go there. Ann (who is keeping Santosha with her husband Magnus) is so fantastic person. She is always smiling and I feel very comfortable with her. She is so positive, kind and warm person. I like to go there early and have a chat just between me and her. We both are so happy here. It was so funny, when Magnus came and asked, how are we, and we both said at the same time, that happy, you know, always just happy to be here. It seems that we both just love this international vibe here and can speak about ashtanga hours after hours.

This morning I spoke for a long time with Ingeborg. She is my wonderful friend from Norway. Ingeborg showed me site regarding her home school in Oslo called Puro Yoga and owned by Alex Medin. It would be awesome to go to Oslo someday, because I haven’t ever been there and Basia Lipska also owns a school there. It’s so great to speak with people about their home schools and hear, how ashtanga is all around the world. I love to hear stories, how people have ended up here, how they have started yoga and how it has changed their lives. It’s so inspiring.

I love to be inspired by other people and I love to inspire other people. I have heard, that a couple of my friends have started yoga again, because they have been reading my blog and nothing makes me more happier. It is so fantastic to be able to inspire people. I can guarantee that if you give yoga a chance, it will bring you happiness, harmony and much more. It’s never too late to start.

11 Nov 2010

25th Practice

Today mysterious energy and secrect strength just took me up in Sirsasana with straight legs first time in my life. I haven’t tried to get up in Sirsasana with straight legs in ages and yesterday I decided to try it. I thougth, that it’s impossible for me after yesterday’s experiences, but today I just walked as near my head as possible and all of the sudden my legs started to rise. Just like that. This showed once again, that when I don’t expect anything from my practice, everything happens just like that. My legs came up, when I wasn’t thinking anything special.

Today I had a good day again. My mind was very focused and I got a good spot next to Ursula. I just got inside the Shala before mantra and I was able to start my day with common mantra among other students. Beginning of the practice was quite interesting, because beetles walked through one girl’s mat and she started to scream and we all started to watch, what was going on, and after a while you started to hear nervous giggling around the Shala. I remember once in Purple Valley, when ants decided to trek through the shala and we were obliged to move our mats and give some space for the ants.

Sharath assisted me with Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana. That asana is actually getting a bit better. It is not so wobbling anymore and I feel some control over that asana. Sharath helped me in Supta Kurma, too. It is easier to close my hands now, but I’m not able to close my hands without help. Today I managed to do the transfer from Supta Kurma to Bakasana. It looks ridiculous, when I am hanging there and my legs are all over, but there is no other way to learn it. Sharath was behind me, when I did Kukkutasana and gave me one pose more. So Baddhakonasana is my last pose now. With that pose, it’s easy to see that I have gained more flexibility here. I put my chin against the floor first time in my life and I wasn’t even trying so much. I am so happy that my hips are opening and the progress is very stable here. Sharath is teaching me gradually and it really works for me. He is not giving me new asanas before my whole practice is stable until the final asana. Sharath wants to see control through the whole practice and he wants to see the stable practice every day. When you can show that, he will give you new asanas.

And you know what? I almous skipped my practice today, because I felt so tired. And now I feel so energetic, that I could run 10 kilometres. And I don’t even like running.

9 Nov 2010

24th Practice

What I really love herein Mysore are the mornings. It’s so beautiful, when you walk back home after your practice. Sun is rising and the village is waking up. Air is fresher than during the day and mostly only birds and old people are awake. It feels like time stops some way. You are not in a hurry, you are just happy where you are. It’s your piece of sky or your piece of heaven. Heaven on Earth.

It’s this after-yoga bliss. You can feel it in Annankatu, too. The light comes through the windows gradually. Your energy grows hand in hand with the light. After Savasana you open your eyes and Annankatu’s shala is full of light. In Koh Mak this bliss came during the morning swim. You left your sweaty yoga clothes behind and jumped to the sea. Time stopped and you only felt the refreshing water around you. In Purple Valley you walked to the shala in darkness. Inside the shala you started your practice in candlelight. Indians had decorated the shala with flowers and you felt that something bigger had been there. You could only hear your friends breathing around you. Light started to come inside and you felt stronger. Sometimes during the Savasana you could hear the monkeys running on the roof. Yes. I have touched the sky so many times.

Today’s practice was stable. I had the same energy level through the whole practice. No great tiredness, no big energy boosts. Just very good, stable practice. I think that today’s practice was like it should be. Focused and strong. And then at some point you will get a new asana and the stability is quite gone. Until you build up your energy back and it’s stable again for a while. Little, but good progress with Yoga Mudra today. I can almoust close the asana now. I can touch my toes with my fingers, but I can’t take proper grip. Slowly, slowly and I will close it.

23rd Practice

It was raining again during the night and I woke up once, because it was really pouring so heavily. I went inside the Shala before the mantra and practiced again next to Ursula. I have really good practice time now. It’s not too early and I am able to select my spot. Some people, who came after me, got a new practice time and they are starting really early. I suppose Sharath will change my practice time later again, but as long as I am in five o’clock group, I am more than happy.

Today’s practice was much better and I realized, that I am so stiff because of the rain and cold weather. I can feel more soreness in my body overall, too and I am quite sure that this is because of the cold nights. This is actually good, because now I can feel more like I would be practicing in Finland. I have to warm up more and really focus on my breath.

Sharath assisted me with Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana and asked after the practice, if I was able to close my hands in Supta Kurma. This time I said to the assistant that he shouldn’t try to cross my legs in Supta Kurma, because it’s at the moment just too much for me. I did finishing poses in changing room again. There I can take it a little bit easier, but I shouldn’t let the laziness take over. I have to work more with Utplutih, it is just so sad asana right now.

I had my chanting class at 11 o’clock again. Starting from tomorrow I will change my group and I will have chanting three times per week after that. I don’t know, if we start to resonate some new texts or is it just a smaller group and more intense work. We will see.

I saw Mikko by chance in Anu’s Cafe and we had lunch together. I got really good information about Yoga Thailand’s TT course, because Mikko has done it before. I asked about the final exam and it will be really demanding. I thought that it wouldn’t be so hard, but when Mikko started to explain about it, I realized, that I have really some studying to do. For example I have to know some mantras and keep a led class for small group. And of course there will be a written exam, too. Luckily I can start my studies here and I don’t have too much disturbing things going on.

7 Nov 2010

22nd Practice

Very terrible practice indeed. Last week was so perfect, that I knew, that at some point the whole practice would sort of collapse. I had two days off and it obviously wasn’t a good thing. My back started to hurt a little bit yesterday and I noticed that almoust the whole right side of my body was really sore. This morning the back was ok (I did some stretching yesterday to give some space for my vedebras), but I didn’t feel good. Last night’s sleep was bad, because people shoot the firecrackers and fireworks along the night. Usually it’s a good idea to practice, when you are sleepy and grumpy, but this time it wasn’t.

Many people looked tired at the Shala. It has been raining quite much and maybe other people haven’t been able to sleep either. I had my favorit spot, but very tall guy was practicing in front of me and put his legs on to my mat many times. I just really hate that. I understand, that it’s harder to stay on your mat, when you are really tall, but you should just go more forward and only come to other person’s mat for example in Chakrasana. Maybe they don’t teach that to the students in other schools, but I almoust stopped my practice and told him to go forward. Yes. I wasn’t very om and shanti today.

My muscles were really sore and I was hard as a rock. So stiff and lot of pain. I stopped in Supta Kurma, because I felt that I couldn’t breath and I wanted to vomit. Really strange practice, hopefully I am not getting ill. I did the finishing poses with others, but I couldn’t get Utplutih up and also Urdva Dhanurasana was fiasco. Sharath wants me to take it up directly, but when I am practicing my normal Mysore practice, I do three small ones and then three times up. I am so careful with my back. I know that I have to change it, because Sharath is watching me and he knows that I can take it up, but I am just so worried about my back. I haven’t told Sharath about my back problems and I know, that he won’t force me to do anything, but I suppose it would be wise to tell him about my previous problems anyway.

I watched the second group again and noticed that many people had problems with balance today. There is now one Finnish girl Heidi practicing among second group. She said that she is mostly practicing alone and I have to say, that she has worked hard on her own, because I really liked her practice. We had a good laught today, when Sharath sort of forgot Ursula in Karandavasana and she stayed there ages waiting Sharath to get her up. The whole audience started to laught, when Sharath continued the counting, all of the sudden noticed, that Ursula is still down and then rushed to get poor Ursula up.

I was so happy yesterday, when I came back home and I had received a parcel. I got my yoga books for Yoga Thailand finally! You can’t count on Indian post office at all. The whole packet was ripped off and they had checked the books through. It doesn’t really matter, what you send, they will check it anyway. I heard that they can even cut your postcards to see, if there is some money glued inside. So lucky me again, that I got my valuable books!

6 Nov 2010

Diwali and Metropole

Yesterday started the crazy diwali celebration. It seems that Indians really love festivals, because all the time here is some carneval going on or at least here is a day of one of the Hindu gods. And I can promise that Indians have so many gods that we could celebrate every day of the year. For example this Diwali celebration is interesting, because I haven’t figured out is it the main festival day Friday or Sunday, because it seems that for other people Friday is more important and others say that Sunday is the day. What really happened was, that we yogis had Friday off and Indian children were shooting lot of firecrackers.

We didn’t have Supper Club this week, because we went out for a dinner instead of our normal Friday routine. Our group is getting bigger. Last night we had Aimee, Maria, Ahu, Melissa and Brian. Brian is Aimee’s really good friend from States and still suffering from a pretty good jetlag, because he arrived a couple of days ago and among other things missed his flight on his way here. It’s crazy, how long it takes for Americans to get here. No wonder that they seem to upgrade their seats to the first class…

I am sure that this Diwali wasn’t typical for Indian children, because it was pouring so heavily, that we didn’t really hear so many firecrackers. I don’t still have an umbrella, so I walked to Aimee’s place my towel around my head and ended up there completely soaked. It was literally like walking through a small river. Ahu joked, that this is the only way to wash streets in India and I have to agree.

We went for a dinner to Hotel Metropole. This was actually the first time, when I weared make-up here. But you still don’t feel very trendy, because you have to dress up like grandma. I don’t even have any high heels here. Metropole was really nice place and the food was so good there. This was the first time, when I got really spicy Indian food. I love spicy food, but I have started to feel, that it is might not that good for my body. I had vegetarian kebab. It sounded so weird, that I decided to try it. We ended up tasting each others’ food which is actually the best way to figure out, what is good in the restaurant. Only thing, what was terrible there, was my drink called Green Eyes. Melissa described it as mixture of soap and man’s parfume. Aimee said that it looked radioactive. Hah. First drink ever, which I couldn’t drink, and Aimee was so friendly, that she returned my drink and got some soda instead for me.

On our way back home, it wasn’t raining anymore. That was good, because the girls, who weren’t sitting in the middle of the riksha, got really wet on our way to the hotel. After the dinner, we went to Aimee’s. We had organised a little suprise for one of our friends, who got amazingly good news during this week. Girls had ordered special cake for her and we had some sparkling, too. Rest of the night we were just laying on the floor gossiping… Party house Rashinkar tries to keep up its reputation and so we stayed up until midnight.

21st Practice and Philosophy Class

It was pouring heavely during the whole night. I don’t have an umbrella, so luckily the rain stopped just before I stepped out. Monsuun is here, but I don’t mind. I like rain and air is fresh every morning after the rain. It’s so good for the nature and I like to fall asleep, when I hear the raindrops. Rain is something very peaceful. And chai and rain so belong together.

I was practicing next to British Ursula, which was a good place to practice, because she has a very stable practice. It felt that today’s led class was very demanding, but in a good way. I felt suprizingly strong and practice was going well. Sharath assisted again with Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana and even that asana is getting slightly better. I got too strong adjustement in Supta Kurmasana, so I needed to back off a little bit. I suppose, that it’s very difficult to size the amount of power, if you are quite tall or big yourself. It takes time to learn to read the student. I wait very much studies regarding that in Yoga Thailand. It will be wonderful to learn more about body and mind. I kept Sirsasana up the whole counting, but on the contrary Utplutih was on the floor from one until the end. I just didn’t have any power left. But all together I was pleased with my practice.

It’s so good to notice that I am building up my strength step by step. I want to be in shape, when I am going to Thailand and this is a really good opportunity to get back on track after my back problems. Every day I have to repeat to myself, that take it easy. I can feel that my hips are opening more, but I have to be supercareful with my back. I must think about it during my whole practice. One tiny slip can be sort of fatal to me. It’s so difficult, because my mind is very greedy and wants to put my body aside.

I went to Shala’s philosophy class today. The teaching style is very Indian, maybe even too Indian for me, but it’s good to come familiar with the basic concepts and definitions. As a Western person, it’s so difficult to understand, how big matter karma here is. Every day you work with your karma. Some way it sounds terrible that so much depends on the family to which you were born. I was wondering today, what Indians think about adoption. If you born to a lower cast family and then you will sort of upgrade your status, if you are adopted to a good family or how it works? Is it then just that you might did something good in your previous life?

Horoscopes are also extremely important here and even in Guruji book it’s mentioned that Guruji’s and his wife Amma’s horoscopes weren’t match, but Amma wanted to marry Guruji anyway. And old yoga students say in book, that they were very happy together. It’s very beautiful to see here everyday people, whose faith is so strong. They believe that correctly done puja can heel a person and some women are upset, when they can’t do certain puja, when it should be done, because they have periods. Religion is here part of everyday’s life. In Finland you can’t really see religion, but here you can’t avoid it. I am just wondering, how big shock it must be for Indians to travel abroad and see countries, where religion is considered as some kind of like madness. It feels like Guruji was almoust like radical among Indians at his time, because he decided to teach Westeners and both women as well as men at the same time, too. He also taught very ill people and didn’t care, when the other students said, that they will leave, if the lepers will practice. I have got the impression that Guruji was very religious person, but he said that yoga is for everyone, only not for lazy people. It’s interesting, that open-mindnesness can be considered as radical at the same time.

3 Nov 2010

20th Practice / Very Early Morning, Finnish Group Is Getting Bigger

I went to see Sharath yesterday, because it was time to pay my monthly fee. He changed my practice time once again, so I started this morning at 5.00 a.m. Shala time. So I have to wake up at 4.10 a.m. regular time, because I have now new breathing practice, which I have to practice for Yoga Thailand (before my usual asana practice). Sort of change for my previous life, because before I used to walk home from a bar or after-bar-parties at that time. I suppose those days are quite much gone now…

The cool thing with the early morning is, that we are doing the opening mantra together. I love that. It feels like the whole group is more together sharing the morning and the practice. I don’t know, why Sharath selected me to start so early, because the other people, who used to practice with me, start now half an hour later than I. Many of those unreal people are practising now at the same time with me. My favorit guy was next to me today and the door was on the other side, so quite nervous spot. Luckily the guy next to me did very calm practice, so I didn’t freak out totally. I should have a slower pace. Those practices, which are quite slow, are so beautiful.

Today’s practice was a little bit tired, because I didn’t get that much sleep last night. I was assisted in Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana and Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. The guy, who assisted me with Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana is really tall. So he took my foot really high. Maybe even too high. I didn’t wanted to say anything, because his adjustment was otherwise good. I haven’t ever been assisted with Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana and it was strange. Very difficult to go down, when somebody keeps your other foot really high. I just have to loosen up my hips a little bit more and then I can close Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana as well as Yoga Mudra.

I did finishing postures in changing room, because there was no space in the Shala. Changing room was really dark and I had just a tiny spot for my mat upstairs. Try it once at home, it’s quite interesting to do your finishing postures in dark. You can only hear your and your friends’ breath. It’s nice feeling, when you know that you can control your body so well that you don’t actually have to see anything to do your asanas. And Savasana is so relaxing in dark.

So here is now three Finns plus I. Matleena, who I met first time in Houtskär, arrived last week. We met Finnish Heidi in Anu’s Cafe two days ago. Yesterday I saw Mikko, who is a friend of many of my friends in Finland. It’s funny to meet someone, who you already know in some way. Mikko is teaching in Copenhagen and he showed me yesterday some pictures from their new shala. It is so beautiful place and you can go inn, when you like, because you have your own key. They have really figured out all the details (like the places of lights and mats etc.). I wish, that I could visit that shala someday. Mikko was very helpful and I got many nice movies and documents to watch. It’s wonderful to get some new friends again.

2 Nov 2010

19th Practice / Very Good Indeed!

Like I thought, my muscles were quite sore this morning. I walked to the Shala and the waiting room was full of people, who I didn’t know. Sharath called me first in and told, that I should come tomorrow at 5.30 a.m. So I have to start my practice tomorrow at 5.15 a.m. regular time. Btw. It’s good to know, that when you wait in the waiting room, the old students go first in. It doesn’t matter, if you arrived before to the waiting room, the old students (who arrived to Mysore before you) will pass you and then you go in.

My spot was next to the main door and first it bothered me a bit, because Sharath called often ”One more / Two more / Wait” next to me and went to check the people in waiting room. I was quite stiff in the beginning and because it was raining outside the air was very humid and sorf of heavy, too. When my body got warmer, the practice started to be more focused. When the start is sticky, I start to listen to my breath and then it’s easier to concentrate. Uthita Hasta Padangusthasana was very wobbling again, but Marichyasana D was closed alone both sides. Sharath didn’t see that, because he went to the office on that moment. Bhujapida is coming back to me, too. It’s stronger and I can keep my heels off the floor. Now, I should get my heels back and up and then it would be more by the book.

Sharath came to assist me with Kurmasana. He just touched my back really lightly and I went much deeper to the pose. I didn’t feel any pain, I was actually very relaxed. I was able to keep my hands together almoust the whole time in Supta Kurma and I managed to jump back without touching the floor. So when I finished the pose, Sharath said very good and promised that I can do Garbha Pindasana tomorrow. I said: ”Cool!”. Oh jeah! My rocking chair is back! Can’t wait to hit the floor tomorrow. Hah. I am very happy, because Supta Kurma is easily the most difficult asana for me and now I passed it. I still have so much work to do with Primary Series, but it’s nice to get one asana more. I can build up my strength more.

I have to say, that led class isn’t always so hilarious time, but it really builds up your strength. I am much stronger now. I can keep my Sirsasana up much longer than before and every fight with Navasana it’s worth it. So it’s in the name of led class!

1 Nov 2010

Rocking Practice!

Yes. Very good morning today. Marichyasana D closed alone on both sides! Finally, it has been so near two weeks and now I did it. Only light pain with my ankle anymore, so half-lotus is easier and that’s the way it came back to me. Also little progress with Supta Kurma, because an assistant was able to close my hands. Before only Sharath could do that, but it seems that my stiff hips are getting a bit more loose. Today was the day, when I took the first breath and I knew, that today the practice will rock. Sometimes you just know.

Today I practiced really in the middle of the Shala. Indian girl Tiana practiced in front of me and it was quite fun, because we started almoust at the same time, so the whole practice went so, that she was like my mirror. It was good practice for me specially, because I was able to observe, how long my breath is. I have quite short breath and I am trying to learn to make it a little bit longer. Then my whole practice is calmer.

Sharath wasn’t assisting me today, but I felt his eyes on my back many times. Even Bhujapidasana was much more better today. It’s clear, that rest did good for my muscles. Tomorrow will be harder, because my muscles will be more tired, but I don’t mind. Today everything went so well…

31 Oct 2010

My 17th Practice and Halloween Lunch

It was very early morning today, because I heard a rumour, that today’s led class would start 4.00 a.m. regular time and I went to the Shala a little bit before. It was just a rumour and the class started as usual 4.15 a.m. I have met here many people, who need time before their practice and that’s why they wake up every morning at least one hour before their practice time. For me, it’s better to move fast after I wake up, otherwise I am not gonna make it. I like to watch other people’s practices, but otherwise I don’t like to wait. I will only start to feel more sleepy.

Today’s practice was weak as I expected, but it started very well. Sharath assisted me with Uthita Hasta Padangustasana, but otherwise I was on my own. In Navasana I was very shaky and after that I didn’t have any energy left and I felt that I wanted to vomit. So after that asana I took it very easily and came down in Sirsasana before others as well as took only one Urdva Dhanurasana up. Tomorrow is a new day and I didn’t want to push too much today.

I am going for a Halloween lunch to Santosha. Ann promised to cook us dishes with pumpkin, so I am excited to see, how orange the table will be. I have noticed, that I need to add some protein to my food, because I feel sometimes quite tired here. I haven’t had any fish here, so I have to be more aware with my food. Indians don’t eat tofu and not much soya either, so the vegetarian dishes don’t include that much protein. I am even considering to continue eating only vegetarian food in the future. My friends here are so good cooks, that even I have good changes to learn to make proper vegetarian food.

Happy Orange Halloween My Friends! And lot of trick and treats!

You Gonna Love It or Hate It!

Almoust one month behind and I can tell, that I love Mysore. I know, this is yoga bubble, where you are all the time surrounded by yogis, yogic lifestyle, yoga books, yoga talks etc. People here go to bed early, wake up extremely early, are vegetarians or vegans, don’t drink that much and hardly go out. Smoking is terrible habit and meat is enemy. They are interested in philosophy, mysticism, meditation, spiritualism, raw food, healthy eating, ayerveda, holistic lifestyle, healing, energy, art, sport, anatomy and the most of all ashtanga yoga. Usually they have travelled quite much, speak at least English and have changed some way their previous lifestyle because of yoga. So we are quite similar people with similar interests, but really different backgrounds. I love this international vibe here, it’s so much my thing. But this isn’t real India for sure.

Some people here are totally done with Mysore. They are just waiting to finish their travel or get authorized and get out of the country as soon as possible. And preferably never come back. Others have been here numerous times, might even authorized by Guruji many years ago and they still want to come back here always, when it’s possible. They love to practice here, they love the life here, they think, that this is home as well as origin of ashtanga yoga. Some people have even bought houses here.

I think that for me life is easy here. I don’t have to explain to anybody, why I don’t eat meat, why I go to bed early, why I don’t want to eat late, why I want to practice every morning or why ashtanga yoga is so special to me. People here speak same language with me. I think, that in Finland most of my best friends are familiar with my weird habits, but here I feel, that I am normal. Nothing special, just like the others. I wouldn’t like to live here forever, because time to time I miss my people from Finland and even Finland, but I know already, that I will come back here many times. I am stuck with Mysore. Sharath is amazing, some people here are unreal, your practice every morning in the Shala is a treat and the rest – you just have to cope with it.

29 Oct 2010

Letting It Go…

In some mysterious way, I got sick. I have been supersupercareful here with the food and I have either cooked at home or I have eaten in places, where yogis eat. I mean I have had only one cup of chai and the rice offered my neighbour outside those before-mentioned places and I got sick. I have drank only bottled water and even brushed my teeth with it, but I couldn’t avoid getting sick. Yesterday I laid on the bed whole day, napping, sleeping and reading. I got a little bit fever too, so all my sore muscles hurted and I was quite shaky.

Today I feel much better, but still I couldn’t practice. Three days off is going to feel like eternity. Hah, sounds familiar? Yes, I know that the next practice will be shaky and stiff, but I have to listen to my body and follow the principle of ahimsa (non-violance). I think that this whole ashtanga system is so brilliant, because we don’t start with yama (moral codes), but asana. Asana will teach us among other things about ahimsa. If I am not going to have day off now, I will be violent against myself. So even when I don’t do my physical practice today, I am actually practicing. First I have to learn to be non-violent against myself and later I might learn not to be violent against other people (this includes nasty thoughts). But it’s so difficult to be without asana practice…

I continued reading Guruji book and John Scott (p. 356) talks in it about the people, who are attracted by ashtanga yoga. He says: ”It [ashtanga yoga] definitely attracts people who have a very obsessive nature or an addictive nature. I think that the practice can be very addictive, which is clever.”…”Now when you start working with the addiction of yoga, the not doing yoga is a yoga in itself.”… ”…, the system is always testing you. So I think that these are some of the reasons why Pattabhi Jois puts in the full and dark moon to give us the opportunity to not practice. So the people with obsessive natures are also challenged within the practice to let go of the practice.”

So today’s plan is to rest, drink water, eat properly, take good care of myself and build up my energy for Sunday’s asana practice. You can see that it’s still too challenging for me live only in this moment and not think about Sunday already… Maybe, one day, I will learn.

27 Oct 2010

My 16th Practice

Good sleep! Perfect, because I knew that after good night, my practice would be stronger and so it was. Nice energy today and great spot, too. The only confusing thing was that the unreal guy was again in front of me. This is like a test for me, how well I can concentrate, when there is something really interesting under my eyes. Today I was more focused, but I have to admit, that I couldn’t keep my eyes out of him all the time.

Today was my best practice during this week. Even Marichyasana D on the left side went better than before this week. I really hoped, that Sharath would have assisted me with Supta Kurma, but someone else came. I can’t close my hands alone, but with Sharath I can. This assistant today didn’t try properly to close my hands, she only said: ”Not possible.” Well, the thing is that it’s possible, when my legs are in right position. Today, my legs weren’t properly done, so I felt pain in my collarbone. I have heard, that Supta Kurma is very difficult asana to assist, but I still prefer assistants who say: ”Yes, you can. ” instead of ”No, you can’t.” Yes, one day I can, maybe not tomorrow, but one day I will close my hands alone for sure.

Sharath told me to go in front of the Shala, up to the stand, to do my finishing poses. I have been afraid of that since I came here. I mean, I don’t like to be in front of all people and on the stand you are even higher than other students. I started immediately think, what if I come over in Sirsasana and fall over the person, who is facing me. Or what if in Halasana there’s no floor, but only the stairs behind me. Yes. I start to think really crazy things, when I have to be in front of people. But actually I almoust liked to be there after I got over my first thoughts. The window was open, so I got fresh air and it was easier to breathe. Sirsasana was very still and Urdva Dhanurasana again very strong. Today I got one step forward, because I don’t have to be afraid of the stand anymore.

My 15th Practice and Unreal People

Once again very restless sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and was awake 1,5 hour. Finally I decided to eat and read, because I wasn’t sleepy at all. I woke up again a bit before my alarm rang, because dogs were barking so loudly. I think that somehow the moonday is affecting still, because many people said, that they haven’t slept well. I started to read Guruji A potrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois last night and I got so excited, that maybe that was one of the reasons, why my sleep just disappeared.

My spot in the Shala was good again, but in front of me practiced a guy, whose practice is the most amazing, which I have seen here, so I just couldn’t do my drishtis properly. That guy is just unreal. His practice is so in balance and his slim, but really strong figure does justice for each movement. I almoust hope that I don’t have to practice near him, because then my own practice will be a mess.

It was very hot and humid today inside the Shala. I don’t mind, if the Shala is quite hot, but humid air gives me really heavy feeling. Ok practice anyway, my back didn’t hurt and Urdva Dhanurasana was strong today. Sharath assisted me with Supta Kurma. I like his style to adjust a lot. He does everything so quickly, that I don’t have time to think too much. His touch is very light, almoust like he doesn’t even touch you. It has been really interesting to read Guruji book, because his students describe Guruji’s adjustments in a very similar way, how I feel about Sharath’s adjustments. Yes. India has brought me already all and much more, what I hoped for. Love, light and lightness really exist here.

What comes to other unreal people here, madam from my next door wanted to make some food for me today. I don’t even know her name, but she just heard from my Indian mother, that I don’t cook, so she decided to cook for me. Every day these people make me smile. Today is an important day for Lord Ganesha, which brings lucky and happiness and I have received plenty of those today. Namaste.

25 Oct 2010

My 14th Practice and Breakfast at Anu’s Cafe

Quite sticky morning again, but good feeling after practice anyway. Today I was in a corner and I felt that I was practicing in the shadows. Sometimes it’s really nice to be in the shadows, but today I felt that I could have used some energy from other people. It wasn’t cold in real, but when I started, I felt, that my body was cold and stiff.

Urhva Dhanurasana was very strong today, but otherwise practice was really basic. My Bhujapidasana is a bit lost here, I don’t know why, but I use to have a strong Bhujapidasana and now it’s very slipery and unbalanced. On the other hand, Supta Kurmasana is a way better here than at home. Sharath assisted me with Marichyasana D on the left side, but it’s still difficult to close. It’s very near, but out of reach anyway. But when I walked back home, I started to smile and thought that it doesn’t matter, that the practice today wasn’t the best one, I had really beautiful day in front of me anyway. Sun was shining and the morning was beautiful. And I heard that one girl, who had a very bad scooter accident here before, came up alone from Urhva Dhanurasana today first time after her accident and it was so cool thing that all the people talked about it the whole morning.

After the practice I had a quick shower and I went to Anu’s Cafe for Indian breakfast. The owners of Anu's Cafe organized this breakfast today exceptionally, because they were collecting money for one of their employee, whose sister is getting married and his family needs to save money to cover all wedding expenses. The place was packed with yogis and we all were really happy to have the possibility to taste different Indian dishes and help this employee at the same time. Food was so delicious and I got a change to try many new flavours and dishes.

The thing, what is really cool here, is that you meet new people all the time and they are really open and social. Like yesterday, I was walking along my home street and one guy waved at me. I didn’t know, who he was (I had seen him before inside the Shala), but I said hi anyway. After a moment, he drove after me by his scooter, stopped, introduced himself and asked, if I needed a lift. This morning I walked back home after the breakfast and one girl stopped me in front of Santosha, started to talk to me and asked, if I wanted to have a breakfast with her. You can only be on the good mood here, because people around you are so joyful and friendly!

Sharath’s Conference, Lake and Glow

I was so tired this afternoon, that I slep over one hour before the conference. I walked to the Shala with Ann and we were laughing, how wonderful it is to sleep during the day and not feel guilty or lazy, because you know, that other people are doing the same. Sometimes you need your beauty sleep and here you are free to sleep, when you like. Awesome!

The conference today was super. Sharath was talking about, how important the healthy body is for your mind. Healthy body brings you the stable mind. It’s important to balance your body and concentrate only to yourself during the practice. Then the asana also comes more meaningful. Unfortunately, it’s often so that a new asana brings you a new pain too, but after a while our bodies change and get used to the asana. Sometimes I feel that ashtanga is like building up a new body for yourself. You have to get rid off old bad habits and weaknesses and start from the scratch. Like Sharath said today, yoga is a lifelong study and experience. I also think that yoga is a lifechanging practice, at least it is and it has been that to me. It’s like opening your eyes and learning to watch more carefully.

Sharath was also pointing out, that first you have to be a student and then you might become a teacher. He said that he has been studying yoga many years, but he is no master and he has still so many things to learn. He also reminded us, how important practice is. He said as an example, that he wouldn’t change his one month’s practice for a million dollar. He is so smart and modest that man.

After the conference me, Maria and Kitty from Chigaco went to the ”Lake”. Lake is great! You can see there Indian ladies wearing sharis and trainers, when walking around the circle. We were really lucky today, because the evening was beautiful and sun was just coming down, when we walked around the Lake. It was very peaceful environment and we had an interesting conversation regarding questions, which the girls wanted to make for Sharath. Often you notice that people are thinking same (or otherwise really interesting) questions than you, so I hope that they will ask those questions later and I will hear the answers.

I think that it’s impossible to explain the magic of Mysore or the feelings here during my own practice or Sharath’s conferences. This is like being Alice in Wonderland or Spark in Mysore Magic World. My friend Matleena just arrived here from Finland and I had a quick talk with her after today’s conference. She said to me, that she had watched me during the conference and she said that I am just glowing. Yes. Mysore is very different, you can’t explained it, you have to feel it.