Making more friends - "Hello Sirsasana!"

The mind is so powerful. It can hold us back from pursuing and achieving what we truly desire in life or it can see us excel and meet our wildest dreams. In theory, people know this. I’m not saying anything new here - but in practice, it’s a little more challenging to apply. Yoga is a fantastic way of challenging the mind, our beliefs, our fears. For me, Sirsasana is one posture I never believed I could do. Even when our teacher assured two weeks ago that we could all do it, I was sitting in class thinking - “I’m sure everyone else can, but I know I can’t. I’ve been trying for over a year and failed miserably”. Well, I was proven wrong today. Today - I was up! Whilst holding the position I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. In fact, writing this now I can’t wipe the smile off my face. You see - achieving an asana like Sirsasana - The King of Kings - means so much more than achieving something physical. Here, there is a connection of the body, breath and mind, and when these become one, working in unison, then we can achieve great things in life (beyond asanas). I consider an asana as a symbol of our own power. If we can challenge ourselves to keep trying, to be patient, to learn the correct techniques, then anything is possible. Today, I proved this to myself and I feel so incredibly happy with this achievement. So much so, I didn’t want to wait until tonight to blog about it. Also, my hips are fantastic today. I sat in one position for about 40 minutes before having to move. That is 100% unheard of for me! Normally, I’m the squirmer in the class moving from cross legged to one leg bent back to cross legged because I feel like my hips are about to explode. But not today! It seems my body is finally beginning to surrender to the practice which is exciting. Again, through commitment, dedication and a desire to achieve it’s amazing what beautiful things can happen.

As of this week, our schedule will also include attendance at Mysore Style classes. Here we are to observe the students and how they train in this type of class. People travel from all over the world to train Mysore Style so I am looking forward to sitting in. I wasn’t selected to sit in today but at some stage this week I will.

This morning I will prepare to teach Surya Namaskara - one part of me hopes to be selected as I have prepared well, the other part hopes I’m not. Well see, shall we!

Namaste xx

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Clearly not me, but you get the idea!!

Hello Kakasana - my new friend!

Ecstatic. Bliss. Overjoyed. I’m feeling all this right now. After an intensive session this afternoon (I’m not joking!), I’m feeling over the moon about my progress. Tonight was probably one of my strongest practices ever. It is incredible what the body can do within two weeks with the right technique, discipline and trust (of your teacher). Not only have I finally achieved the foundation for Sirsasana (head stand) which I have been working on for over a year now, but tonight I conquered Kakasana!!!! Every class, I constantly remind myself to be stronger, to feel the posture and notice what is going on with my body. I work so hard at noticing everything - but until now, no matter how focused I thought I was, Kakasana never came. Well, tonight it did. Only for a about 10-20 strong seconds, but it was there. Sweat dripping off my forehead and arms slipping off my legs, I still managed to get there and hold it with control. What made this achievement so much greater was - when I came down and lifted my head I noticed my teacher was squatting with another student (obviously about to help him) but his eyes were on me. With a very gentle smile and nod of the head, I could see he was so proud of my progress. I’m not here to be liked, I am here to train, but when you share a moment like that with a master (of any art form) it is truly precious and that moment will stay with me forever.

Earlier today I was hoping to present to my class however without any notification, we are now presenting to the entire group of thirty students! Unfortunately I wasn’t selected to present, however I am hoping to tomorrow. Of course a huge part of me wants to hide and not get picked at all - but that is exactly why I want to be selected. I need to challenge those fearful parts of myself so I can conquer them and progress toward becoming a great teacher. So again, tonight is back to the books.

I spend every spare moment with my face in my books. I was a little frustrated about that at lunch today. Sitting in my favourite Depth n Green cafe with my vegan Thali and mat by my side at the table, I had a moment of feeling a bit sorry for myself with the amount of pressure I’m under - we are under. But then I quickly snapped back into reality and remembered; “Jessica, you are in India, training with a guru having the most authentic experience possible. What better experience could you get? And how great will this training be when it comes to teaching my own classes back home?” I very quickly snapped myself out of this thought process and continued to read/study. At the end of the day - I am not here to socialise, or even see India (for now). I am here to do exactly what I’m doing - study. The added bonus is I have no other distractions. I don’t have to go to work, or try and find new accommodation every couple of days - I am set up and as prepared as I will ever be. So suck it up and keep going.

Note to self - with difficulties comes growth. Never forget this.

Namaste xx


On my street…

Do you see what I see?

New sidewalk being made