What a fabulous day!
There is a steady rhythm to the week with its fullness. Class, chores, a little work and a little tinkering in terms of asana practice. Thursdays see me practice in the hall now, something I had thought I would do once the youngling started college. Usually, it is a repetition of whatever was done the previous day in class to sort of reinforce the learning. But today, I had planned to work on ekpada sirsasana and sarvangasana. So, prepped accordingly and got into the pose when one of the old timers came and showed me an area to work on. So, out with the ekpada it was and the rest of my time was devoted to learning that action. I went into ardha sirsasana to learn multiple actions in the pose. By the end of my practice session, I had an experience in and of sirsasana that was a first.
The day was a full one as I spent the rest of it with a niece I was meeting after a decade. Conversation, some decadent cake and coffee and loads of laughter later, it was time for class and I was mildly regretting stuffing my face. Thankfully, the evening session doesn’t see hardcore inversions so I thought I could wing it. I didn’t have the time to think of having a full belly as the teacher took us through various approaches. The highlight was a lovely adho mukha baddakonasana. I struggle with baddakonasana and a forward bend in it is way off without enough prep work but today’s class took me into a quiet pose, one that I could have stayed in for longer.
At day’s end, I feel exhilarated. I learned many things, discovered many things. Often, asana practice is simply toiling and tinkering with very little dramatic change. All the regular work improves range but those paradigm shifts happen when the necessary tilling of the body’s soil is done. Although it looks like a lot of body work, it is not about the body at all. It is a seeing.
It’s been about 4 months since the institute opened and the shape of my days is very different from what I could have imagined. In the very initial days of this academic year, it was confusing for me, especially while assisting. Somehow practising in the hall is where a whole different kind of education is happening. Between the varied levels of classes and the engagement in them, I am being shaped. While outwardly it seems like training to be an assistant or teacher, I feel I’m really being opened as a student.
4 thoughts on “Studentship”
Dear Anon: There’s so much to appreciate in your reflections on practice, so much that resonates. In this one: “…toiling and tinkering…”; “…when the necessary tilling of the body’s soil is done…” (especially cogent to us gardeners); and “…it is not about the body at all. It is a seeing.” Yes! And the body is the lens, perhaps Prashant’s kaleidoscopic lens. Thank you for your writings. barryc
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Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, Barry🙏
Yes, you are being shaped by the Institute and helping to shape it. Yay for coffee and cake! I’m glad they didn’t interfere with your evening asana practice.
Those “old timers” in the practice hall are fun! I remember when Sunita sent an envoy my way to fix my inverted baddhakonasana whist on the ropes. I was honored to be seen by her.
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It’s such a fabulous place to be!