Wednesday, January 09, 2008

01/09/08 Yoga in Goa

I flew from Goa with a handful of others to Bangalore and shared a taxi the three hour ride to Mysore. Our driver didn’t know the way to Mysore and we drove around the city for 2 hours, but made it in the end. The wheel has been ripped off my luggage, making the bag quite heavy. I put it in my head to climb to the fifth floor where my “capsule” is. The room is a studio with single burner, fridge, shower including hot water that comes out a spout down low, as opposed to the shower head. A big step up from Goa.
Practice with Rolf and Marci Naujokat in Arpora, Goa was excellent. Rolf is a German who has been living and studying in India for many years. Marci is an American who has a strong Iyengar backround, but an ashtanga practice these days. They are both very welcoming and personable, doing a great job of remembering the many new students who came for the time the shala in Mysore was closed. We had somewhere around 60 every morning, Monday-Friday. First batch starting at 5:30, the room beginning to empty after 9. Rolf and Marci keep the room to 20 at a time, a big room in their small house adjacent to the bedroom. It instantly felt like family for me.
I started out staying at a guest house in Anjuna and taking a motorbike taxi in the morning and walking the hour or so home. Stopping for chai and coconuts along the way. I had no stove which was quite a challenge for that week. Then I ran into a friend from Auroville I have known for 7 years and he had an extra room in his place north of the shala, in the village of Siolim. I borrowed his mountain bike to cruise the 30 minutes to class in the mornings. I like to make pedal power a part of my travel life, otherwise we end up hanging out talking and riding scooters all the time. Biking around I get to see a larger picture than walking, and it feels good to move.
I have a wrist story still going on, but Rolf and Marci were supportive and I pretty much just do the practice very slowly and skip jump throughs and jump backs. It’s frustrating sometimes, after 2 months, but I am learning to correct a very old pattern that is the source of the trouble. Patience doesn’t always come easy for the Ashtangi. Often, we work to the point of trouble, at which point we are forced by the injury to step back and learn how to use the body in new ways. This is how I change my patterns with Ashtanga yoga. Of course it’s never just physical and I begin to see all other sorts of patterns as well. Having time in life for self-study is an important part of my world, though not always easy. Those interested in a strong practice like Ashtanga had best be interested in looking deeply. Because this is what we get.

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