Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 1: Standing at the base of Mt. Everest

"I feel as though I'm standing at the base of Mount Everest, learning to tie my shoes."

Mount Everest, circa 1935 (from here)

Monday, February 27, 2012
First Mysore Practice
Instructor: Deborah Carruthers
6:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Woke up feeling pretty tired, as I hadn't seen 5 a.m. in quite a while and had a fitful sleep to boot. I kept waking up every couple hours, anticipating the early alarm, worried about waking D from her slumber (not to mention the dogs). I'll often have interrupted sleep like this before going on a big trip to a place we've never been. When it's kinda scary, but exciting.

It was pretty quiet this morning at the studio, with only one other student showing up (Joe, a sweet older guy who has been practicing Ashtanga for quite some time). We started with some Pranayama exercise (check this video of BKS Iyengar showing off his breathing chops), opening chant, then worked through the Primary Series, which revealed a lot of new poses to me. I realized that the videos I'd been studying with have omitted some key poses, and they are killers.

My Surya Namaskara A is feeling pretty fluid...I'm starting to get some of the finer details working, like rolling over the toes in the transitions between Chaturanga > Up Dog > Down Dog. Jumping forward from Down Dog > Standing is a bit of a challenge for me, I think mostly due to fear that I'm going to fall flat on my face. I'm pretty sure I've got the strength to do it, but my arms collapse before my feet reach their destination. I'm going to try practicing with a cushion in front of me tomorrow to see if I can break through that (mental?) hurdle. Here's a great video by David Garrigues, who I'll be studying with later this month demonstrating the transition:

After class I went home and ate my favourite restorative and grounding breakfast of basmati rice, steamed greens, and fresh eggs. I ended up having a 2 hour nap in the early afternoon, something which I rarely do. Managed to follow the new routine of eating the last meal before 7 and in bed (if not asleep) by 10:30.

After such a long practice of poses, and realizing so many challenges (and this is just the first series of six!), I reflected that I feel as though I'm standing at the base of Mount Everest, learning to tie my shoes.

Post practice mood: tired, but excited about new beginnings and future challenges



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