Today I want to focus on the highlights of my day. Yes, my back is in terrible condition at the moment (I have these ‘flare-ups’ every now and then), and yes it seems like an eternity since my alarm went off at 4.00am this morning, but overall, there were so many positives in the day. Here is where i want to place my energy.
To begin; during the midday teaching session (where we teach other students) our teacher today, Rosa, brought me to tears in a lovely way. During her class I could barely move the pain in my lower back was so dreadful. When we came to do group practice of Vriksasana (tree) I was unable to get my leg up without feeling as though someone was behind me stabbing a million knives into my spine. When Rosa noticed I was having trouble, she gently smiled and nodded to say “it’s ok - don’t worry”. This subtle and simple gesture meant more than she realised. When I gave my feedback to Rosa after the class, I became quite emotional and teary telling her this. Firstly, when you’re in class among other intermediate to advanced practitioners, you can’t help but feel a little silly when you can’t do a basic asana - the mentality which stops beginners from trying yoga in the first place (I’m very aware of that). But Rosa made it OK that I couldn’t lift my leg today. And not only did she make it OK, she didn’t make a big deal out if it either. As a teacher, this is an important skill, more like quality, to have; and as a student, it is important to have a teacher like this. She unknowingly made me feel so much better - emotionally anyway.
When I arrived home after class, the lovely Indian boy I was chatting with yesterday had an unusually large grin on his face. He followed me to my room, which he would never normally do, and prior to me opening the door, he told me they did not get to clean my room today (or get me pillows) like I asked. I had this moment of disappointment, realising I must have forgotten to leave my door unlocked again, and felt sick at the thought of having another night without extra pillows for support. As I opened the door, (the young boy within a couple of metres of me), I noticed my room had been beautifully made up, with extra pillows sitting waiting on the bed. Brand new sheets, bathroom and floors sparkling. They had actually gone to more effort than normal today, which was so lovely. Behind me, the young Indian boy was laughing as he knew he had tricked me. I giggled and said. “you got me!!” and he laughed even harder, repeating, “yes, I got you, I got you!” It was such a beautiful moment seeing how much joy this silly trick made him.
As I mentioned yesterday, often people don’t even greet these young boys at reception as they enter the apartment. I however, always take the time to speak with them and ask how their day has been. I think in doing so, they have worked out I am no one to be threatened by. I will be sure to get a picture of the three boys prior to leaving Mysore. Their smiles will stay with me forever.
In keeping with the back pain theme, my practice tonight began very slowly. Vinyasa flow was not ‘flowing’ so well for me at first. But given time, listening to my body and being gentle with myself, I actually relieved a lot of tension in my back and ended up in postures I never thought were possible for me - especially in this condition. Well - first achievement was Eka Pada Rajakapotasana - only on my left side though (and not looking as graceful as in the picture, I assure you).
I couldn’t believe it when I felt my way into this asana. I think I was one of two in the class who did it! I’m also now learning to walk in Chakrasana, up and down our mats. I can’t help but think of the Exorcist when I see people doing it - clearly some childhood scares there!
Lunch today at Anu’s (one of the best restaurants in Gokulam) was free, as by the time I arrived there wasn’t a lot of variety left. I still ate more food than probably two grown men would eat! But, Anu insisted I not pay this time and just pay the full fee next time I come for lunch. How sweet - an unnecessary!
And finally, I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who is supporting me during this time. I have received such beautiful emails from family and friends daily and have been told beautiful stories of my journey inspiring others also. There is nothing more special and inspiring (for me) to hear that. So, again, thank you for believing in me. You will all never truly know what this means.
On that note, I shall leave you as I have a big exam coming up and I need to keep preparing. Almost there!