Friday, November 5, 2010

The First Led Class

(Aside: Still in the long process of sorting out my own internet at home, it's been hard to keep up with postings. this is from last week's led class, October 29, 2010)

There is something about being so fresh here in Mysore, particularly in Gokulam. Everything is a new discovery. Every new piece of information is a gem. Each moment is an adventure. It feels a little like college; going away from home for the very first time, meeting new people, seeing a new place, figuring out all the cool hangouts.

Today starts earlier than usual. We have led class at 5:45am. There are 2 batches. We are the later. By Sunday, we will switch and we will be practicing at 4:15am!

We arrive early, quietly waiting at the steps as the previous group continues through their led class. We hear Sharath’s steady counting. He takes his time. I brace myself.
We are allowed to shuffle in as the first group packs up, place out mats down and throw the rest of our belongings into the dressing rooms before the opening prayer, ready, get set, go…

The led class is a good pace. In fact, Sharath’s repeating line is, “Why are you in such a hurry?” He advances when we are all synchronized. I am grateful for all the visiting teachers on the island this year, particularly Govinda Kai and John Scott—I feel prepared for this pace. I try to be alert. I try not to get too speedy.

He fixes my Supta Padangustasana, which I know I get away with through flexibility not strength. He moves my leg away from me, placing his foot on my opposite leg, forcing my weight down. It is then up to me to lift my upper body to my leg. I know now that’s something I’ve been able to get away with—again, try to break habits. Also, here the toe points.

I felt that I managed well enough until uplutih. My arms by then were exhausted. He had been taking rather long breaks between counts throughout the finishing sequence. My arms shook as I tried to lift myself up….10 ½…

Savasana lasted no longer than a minute when we were told to take rest at home. A short rest at the dressing room and a coconut after, it was truly over. I was pooped, but I’d survived it. Mysore might not break me after all…

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