I am sure that all my Finnish yogi friends, who haven’t been here yet, are eager to hear, how it is to practice here. This morning I went to the Shala at 4.15 a.m. I was running late as usual, because I didn’t realize, that you have to go there really early, if you want to have a good spot. So I ended up practicing in the girls’ changing room. I didn’t actually mind practicing there. We had only three girls practicing in the room, so I had enough space and I heard well Sharath’s countings. Shala wasn’t extremely hot, but hot enough for me.
I did only Half Primary, so I had time to watch other people’s practices before we did the finishing poses together. Shala isn’t packed at the moment, we have only one led class group. During the Christmas time there will be three groups for led classes. Practice wasn’t different than at home. Sharath’s countings were slower for example regarding Navasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, Sirsasana and Uttana Padasana than at home, but all the exhales and inhales were as usual. I am in very lousy shape after my back problems, so for me Half Primary was totally enough. It only feels so short, but it is still very heavy. I am more flexible here than at home and all little injuries seems to recover during the daytime. Warm weather is doing so good for my body.
Sharath is quite strict with asanas. I can’t close Marichyasana D on the left side at the moment, because my ankle hurts, so I have to stop to Navasana even if I am practicing the whole Primary at home. I think that it is really good that Sharath is so demanding regarding asanas. I suppose that I have got most of my injuries, because I have proceeded too quickly or I have pushed too hard. Everything is in Sun Salutations anyway and I am sure that I will get more asanas, when he thinks that I am ready.
Energy in the Shala is excelent. It’s so nice to practice in the middle of different cultures (only Indians are usually practicing separately during the afternoons). Sharath has an amazingly good memory. He was able to remember my practice after I did it once in front of him. I got the feeling, that he is very demanding teacher, but at the same time you can see that his eyes are full of love. He is joking at the Shala and telling us all the time not to cheat. He has been very present during these first days of my practice. Even when he goes out of Shala sometimes, his assistants (who are participating to the teacher training program) are watching us carefully and then he can come and tell me to do some asana which I forgot before.
So far, so good. I am enjoying the energy in the Shala a lot. I have so much work to do with my practice, but that’s why I am here. I feel very privileged to be able to stay here so long, even if some people are asking me, am I not getting bored staying here five months. Well, some Westeners are living here the year round, so I think that I can cope with a couple of months… And no matter what, this beats Finland’s winter easily!