When we started the practice this morning, the mantra was amazingly strong. Shala is packed and you can feel, how forceful (but in a good way) that energy is with all these people. Today’s practice was good. My body really needs that practice, because after light last week, I was so waiting for the practice. I slept again only couple of hours, but felt suprisingly good this morning. When I wake up after very short sleep, I feel exhausted, but when I start to move, everything feels better. I just hope that I won’t crash at some point, because of lack of proper sleep.
I am still very spoiled in the Shala. Sharath assisted me with three asanas (and the whole room is so full that there is no empty spots on the stage or in changing rooms)… I got adjustment in Uthita Hasta Padangustasana as well as in the end of the series. Today Sharath assisted me with Sirsasana, too. I came down earlier on purpose, because I want to take it easy with my neck. I took it up again after little break and then he came to help me, so I was sort of forced to stay up until the end of counting. It went fine and I didn’t feel pain. It is actually very nice asana to get an adjustment. At least from Sharath.
Today we had a conference at 10 o’clock. It was a very good conference, because people asked interesting questions and not that much questions, on which you can find answers from yoga books. Sharath talked about knowledge, which we can get from other people for example, when they are talking about yoga sutras. He also talked a lot about, how we should focus on our own practice and not do asanas to impress other people. He said, that we should keep our eyes on our own mat. He also mentioned many times that Primary Series is enough to receive Samadhi. One man asked, when we can start pranayama and his answer was, when our guru thinks we are ready. What comes to pranayama I totally agree with Sharath. It takes time to be able to sit still in Padmasana and before that you can’t do proper pranayama. Sharath demonstrated us, how to do kumbhaka and it is very long pause indeed, when it’s done, how it should be. One girl asked about the possibility to do self-practice instead of led class because of some injury, but Sharath told us to come to the led class anyway and practice as long as it’s possible. When asked, can we prolonge the breath in asanas, if we have injuries, he said, no problem. You can stay in the pose eight or ten or even more breaths, if you have injuries. When our mind wonders to the pain or somewhere else, we should start again to focus on the breath.
Yesterday I spoke with one assistant and he said that Sharath doesn’t want the assistant to adjust us, if we are able to close to the pose on our own. That assistant prefers to adjust and take the student deeper in that pose, even when the student is able to close the pose on his own. I think that Sharath wants to leave us alone after we are able to close the poses on own, because then we can keep the vinyasa going and focus on the meditative side of the practice. I personally like to flow, if it’s possible. I have met only a handful of teachers in my life, who are so good adjusting, that I really like to them to take me deeper in the pose. Petri is absolutely the best teacher, what comes to the adjustments and taking me deeper in poses. Sharath’s touch is very light and he knows exactly, what he is doing, so that’s why I am never afraid of him. Dena took me once very deep in Supta Kurmasana, but it wasn’t painful. But I have got quite many injuries because of bad adjustments, so I like to receive less adjustments, unless the teacher really knows, what he is doing. Sharath talked today also about, how teacher should help the student so that he can do the pose in the better way.
I am looking forward to Thailand to learn more about adjusting. It’s very difficult, but I can’t wait to be able to try with so many different people and body types. I suppose nobody is born with perfect touch, but some people are more natural for sure. As we all know, the practice is often painfull enough even without bad adjustments. The flow can keep you more focused and breath will help you with pain.