Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Aug 31 - Merdeka!

Today marks the 54th anniversary of Malaysia's independence from colonial rule. Actually, technically it's Malaya's independence. There is a whole other story about the difference of Malaya and Malaysia. Will not cover it here since this is about my trip in Mysore. But first, Happy Merdeka Day to all Malaysians.

Second practice at the shala went better. I was more stable during UHP, less dancing, less work for Saraswathi. But still unstable. I heard "touch"; so I tried to bring my head to the knee. but all's that changed was my breathing being more laboured. My knee feels great - by that I mean, no discomfort in the area where my ligament was torn. I tried less fidgeting before my backbends. I'm already trying to prepare for the led class this Friday. Naturally, my breaths become shorter - so my focus during my practice now is to slow down my breath and somehow get more air in and out. That would, of course, mean me staying up longer. But this is as good as any place to build up the discipline!

Got my first coconut corner experience. Usually, I have my coconut right outside the shala. But this time the few number of students meant the absence of the mobile coconut stand just outside the shala. Hence, the trip to coconut corner near Ganesh temple. There were initially 4 of us there - each from different countries. As time went by, more students pop round. Quickly, I could see how a possible ten minutes drinking coconut could turn into an hour social session. I left early as already I was distracted by thoughts of my delicious breakfast waiting for me at my hotel's rooftop.

Monday, August 29, 2011

1st Practice - August 30

Woke up before the alarm which was set at 3.30am. Was excited and anxious - excited to see Saraswathi again; anxious just in case she showed disappointment in my progress. Something about the walk to the shala calms my mind - it could be the quietness of the morning, the odd sounds of awakening in some households or just the fact I was the lone person walking on the road.

Turned out I was the third person there. And so began my third visit to this special shala. When Saraswathi entered the shala, I had just finished my 4th Sun Salutation A. I smiled at her when she called us to samasthiti. It looked like she smiled back. Yes! She remembered me.

Last October, I tore a ligament (LCL) on my right knee. So, I took some time off from yoga and concentrated on stability exercises for my knee. The knee has now progressed really well and I've started practicing at the start of this year. Hence, the anxiousness to see if Saraswathi showed disappointment when it came to Marichyasana D. I sensed no disappointment. In fact, I was given a nice gentle adjustment and the alignment she put me in felt really nice. Immediately, relief came over me and I was able to relax for the rest of practice - which was the finishing poses. Before I was trying so hard in the standing twists, I was perspiring like someone was trying to twist the sweat out of me!

Great to have started practice. Was really restless yesterday. Walked all around Gokulam and Temple road. On Sunday, I had lunch at the excellent Green hotel. Food is always good there. They now have a bread and pastries cafe inside the hotel. Looks really nice for afternoon tea. Three roads to the left of Green hotel is Gokulam Road. There is now a new supermarket just near the top of Gokulam Road. There will be other retail space above it but construction is still ongoing. Looks like quite a bit of development going on in Gokulam.

Fingers crossed that my laptop could be fixed this morning.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back In Mysore

Finally this blog can be resurrected again. Had planned to go last year but Saraswathi was away during my window to travel. I nearly could not make this year due to a bizarre ringing in my ear just 3 days before I was due to leave for Mysore. But all's well and I'm here.

Of course, there are always setbacks. The laptop I came with decided it's modem is going on strike the moment I used it in Gokulam. Was tempted not to blog but realised I can connect to the Internet through my phone - so all's not lost.

Even getting the wifi password was not spared of complications. First, the receptionist had to call HQ for the password. Then I heard "iPhone small dash connected" as the password. So I typed "iphone_connected"; when it did not worked, I typed "iphone-connected". No success, so tried "iPhone" in those configurations. But still did not work. Eventually realised she said "hyphen small dash". So we thought we were on the right track with "-connected" . After few tries with her making sure my fingers were pressing the right keys, she had to call. Finally, we were missing a 3 letter word before "-connected"!

Got myself registered at the shala. Thee's now chanting classes at the shala on Mondays, Weds and Fridays. Was tempted but found out they don't include teaching the meaning behind the words. So, being lazy me, I opted out of it. Tomorrow is moonday so no practice. So my first practice will be Aug 30. And my start time is 5am shala time!