I am always very shy when I start practicing in a new shala.
Even though everyone is practicing at their own pace, when you have to unfold your mat in between two practitioners, there is that particular moment during which you’ll ask yourself “Do I have the right to be there?”….. the answer is yes absolutely!
When you enter a new shala, you will have to follow the rules that are in this place. I have seen some students being stopped for their first time, even thought their teacher don’t tell them. Teaching might changed from one shala to another.
Some teacher will give you a lot of postures, that is what happened to me when I was in Greece, while other won’t give you anything at all.
It is important to keep an open mind.
As for me, I did my “come back” this morning.
After 4 days of half practice due to my elbow injury, this morning was surprisedly over all expectations.
Boonchu Tantikarum (Level 2 authorised teacher) came on my mat while I was preparing the drop back.
I directly told him I was not really thinking of doing them, and explain him how last week I hurt my elbow while dropping back. As a conclusion I told him I was scared to do it again.
He looked at me and asked “Can you come back up from it?“, I told him “No“. Then he said “We’ll start from here, go in Urdhva Danurasana“.
I laughed. In my perfect world, of course I want to be able to come back up first and then drop back like nothing. But the reality is totally different.
I told him: “Well, it’s not gonna happen“……. on what he replied “Just give a try“.
From my mat, I came into urdhva Danurasana. He then told me to swing front and back and at the third time to come back up. He placed his hand right behind the thighs, without really touching them, but with a fraction of movement pulling me forward gently, I came back without any problem.
“See, its possible…. do it again”…
Came back in Urdhva Danurasana. This time he said “You will swing front and back four times, then on the fifth one you come back up“. I did four swings front and back, and then from the fifth one I stood up…. I laughed and said “yeah, you did help me, I felt your hands behind my legs“, he replied “they were just there, but not doing anything“….
For the third time he looked at me “This time you’ll swing and at one point, I won’t tell you when, I might help you to come up. Let’s play that game“…
I came back up from the second swing. On my way up I was really on my own, feeling the all body working, stretching, pulling, breathing, organically coming from the inside like I never ever felt before.
He looked at me and said “Do it again“. I’ve done it six to seven times.
Then he said “Tomorrow will practice again, that’s it for today“.
Mental blocks are also physical (most of the time they are)
I know it, I do believe it, still I am not capable of integrating it into my day to day life.
Last week, when I thought my left elbow was completely gone because it did not unfold while dropping back, instead of telling me “I think you should stop practicing for a while“, Iain told me “Come back tomorrow morning for the led class, and I will tell you how to practice“.
Today when I said to Boonchu, I can’t do drop back because of my left elbow, he did not even look at it. He said “your mental is playing with you“.
Therefore I came back reading Iain’s blog. Where he really talked about it : Iain Grysak blog.
I won’t be lying by saying that my practices are having a direct influence, impact toward my thought, my desire, my goals, my personal development. By claiming that, some people can think it is putting too much pressure into the practice. However it is the truth.
Trupta is the first to say, when I am not practicing, I am unbearable.
Last month, one student asked me my recommendation after the course.
Was it to take a couple of days off, or should the practice go on?
At first I did not really understood the question, why would you want to stop practicing while this month was all about to learn how to practice on your own, to develop a personal practice, and to become fully autonomous.
One month of practice is nothing, barely the body start understanding the process of movement, why would you like to stop in order to give a break? I told her, better to continue, it was just the beginning of it.
That is inaction, the fact of not doing anything that kill the body and the mind.
Four weeks of practice is substantial but technically there is nothing extraordinary to it. Once you understand it takes at least twelve months, of a regular practice, for the body to integrate one asana, the breathing, the placement and start being comfortable into the pose.
I would add four weeks of practice is just the appetiser and the road is still very long.
Is the pianist stop performing scales after a month of it? I don’t think so. Only the practice can improve the ability and the understanding of what and why we are doing it.
The connection between the Teacher and the student
In the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice, this connection is pretty strong.
The first time I practiced with Iain, I came with all my ego and more of it. Harder was the downfall.
I first got sick, then pissed off. Second time, I fully gave up myself, and relied on him, whatever he said, asked to do, I was willing to do it. Since then, I won’t ever judge, discuss anything he will say to me, I will just do.
All teachers I am meeting are very important to me. They all bring new perspectives on my personal practice as well on my personal development.
Being able to connect to the Inner “me”
Unfortunately I can’t really talk about it. I would love to be fully connected and in accordance of what I think, do, talk, desire. However it is not happening yet.
I said things but when it is time to apply in my day today life, I do the contrary because I am still scared of what I am capable of doing.
However, I do believe Yoga is a tool to it.
Never give up, keep practicing.