Pretty much every class has a good amount of time devoted to the inversions. As beginners, we learn how to get into the poses against a wall as well as in the middle of the room with the help of the teachers. My teacher remarked how in the early days, when the classes were smaller, sirsasana was only taught in the middle of the hall with assistance. This Wednesday, we had to try and balance on our own after being helped into Sirsasana.
There is excitement associated with inversions because I thought I would never be able to do it. With every class, I realise how important the standing asanas are for a rookie like me. If I can’t use my legs correctly in the standing asanas, how are they going to hold up in the air? In inversions, I find my legs working hard, a different kind of hard.
There is a curiosity to keep trying and a lack of fear about falling down. I guess it is how we are taken step by step into the actions required in the basic asanas. It takes all the melodrama away and the sheer presence of the teacher keeps us fully present in that one hour.
The matter of fact and rigorous approach to learning in the classical way is free from the distractions of other things and keeps me grounded. Every time I stand in tadasana, it is quite humbling as I can sense the shifting balance and lack of equanimity. I guess I could stay with that one asana forever and never really master it.
We were introduced to Supta Padangushtasana 1 with the belt and it was an eye opener for me. It is an asana I use almost daily at home and I learnt a different way to get into the pose. My foot used to feel wrong in it and I learnt that I had to pull just the toes and not the entire foot. There is little sensitivity in the toes, particularly the little one and I am in awe of Guruji who had studied the minutest parts of the human anatomy and had control over it.
While I wish I could have another class during the week, some part also thinks once a week is good for now. Any more and I may burn out. The homework is what is important, learn in class and explore at home. Sticking to the Preliminary course sequence is a very safe way to practice and it has helped to keep it simple for me. My copy looks a bit like the Potions book of the half blood Prince from The Harry Potter book! Scribbled notes and questions in the blank spaces.
In gratitude to my teacher and her teachers