Standing on my head!

In my head, I call my class, Wednesdays with Abhijata, sort of like “Tuesdays with Morrie”. It is the highlight of my week as I come back with new things to try out at home and also look up. Last Wednesday, I got into Sirsasana for the first time. We were learning to kick up when my teacher nudged one leg up the wall and the other went up. It was a happy moment and very unlike what I imagined I might feel. I thought that the blood would rush to my head and I would feel heavy and shaky. None of that happened. I could have stayed there for a while. Maybe it was all the adho mukha Svanasana, Uttanasana, prasarita paddotanasana and ardha sirsasana that familiarised the head down position. However Sarvangasana was another challenge altogether. I just felt very heavy and couldn’t get my balance. The interesting thing about not getting stuff is that it is not a reason to despair but an opportunity to enquire, to chip away at it until something happens.

I am beginning to see how the work with the arms, legs, trunk and spine help in getting ready for sirsasana. The illustrations in the Preliminary Course talk to me now, revealing a little more with each reading and looking at them.

I took a couple of days off full fledged asana practice at home and got back to it today. Blame it on my vata tendencies or the season being one that aggravates my flightiness, I was feeling quite ungrounded. I was starting to fret about practising at home and running and that took the joy out of two things that make me happy. Before I realised it, I had a few late nights in a row, excess coffee in me and very light sleep. The speeded up mind, fast speech and feeling of being overwhelmed were all indicators of not being in sync. Sure enough, my neck started to ache. The whining pain before it could turn into a nasty snarl. It made me wonder if it was such a smart idea to think that my cervical spondylosis was sorted. Thankfully, there was the sense to pause and see what I was doing to myself. So, I slowed down and stopped all the hyperactivity and did things to nourish myself.

Abhyanga with a heavy sesame oil, liberal use of ghee in my food and warm clothing and teas. I also took a few days off running since there was a fair bit of stiffness and soreness in my knee and IT band. I used the time to work with my little balcony garden and read and write. The ache disappeared in a day and I felt in balance again. It is amazing how much insight Ayurveda and yoga have about the human body and mind. A few adjustments and one can actually heal oneself. All this with just a rudimentary understanding of the principles. Hope to study both in detail. Someday.

In gratitude to all teachers.

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