Today, it just worked!

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just seemed to work? No dramas, just smooth sailing. Today was one of those days for me. I don’t have them often, so when they occur they are truly meaningful.

Firstly, I was finally selected to teach the class today. The asanas to teach were probably the most difficult so far (in terms of the amount of information to retain and technical details) and because of that I was secretly hoping not to be selected. I wasn’t sure if my technique for a couple of the asanas was correct - so long story short, I clearly lacked confidence. But on the flip side, I absolutely wanted to be selected to challenge that part of myself - and in the end, I was thrilled that i was. I had so much fun in front of the class demonstrating the asanas (Salabasana, Dhanurasana, Bhekasana and Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana). The  final asana was the one I was most nervous about but my demonstration was excellent.

It turns out my students loved being in my class - so much so they said they completely forgot they were at teacher training and thought they were in a proper class!! They also said they were hanging off my every word, intrigued by what I would say next and wanting to learn from my demonstrations. They said I was a natural and assumed I was already a teacher. It shocked them to find out this was my second class ever - the first being last week. What better feedback could anyone get! Now, in no way am I trying to blow my own trumpet here, but I have to say I am pretty proud of myself. It seems all my hard work is starting to show. And considering I have given up my career to come here, I’m glad the feedback supports my decisions to teach. Yay!

At lunch I decided to take a rickshaw to Easy Day supermarket, the biggest in Mysore. Picture a smaller version of Big W but with food also. I was headed there for two reasons. Priority 1: floss. Priority 2: kettle. Turns out, people in India don’t floss. I have been to that many places trying to find floss but the don’t seem to stock it, or even know what it is. Owen suggested I buy some cotton thread as an alternative - I actually will! I did, however, find is a little ‘Heat Cup” which is my new kettle. I am thrilled to have the ease of making tea whenever I feel like it without having to go to the fourth floor of the building. Such a simple pleasure which I have taken for granted back home.

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Having a little kettle in my room, some bowls and a new little plate - my room is really turning into my home. I’m beginning to get comfortable here which is nice.

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On a side note - it’s amazing how the locals here know when you are new to the area or have been here for sometime. Rather than being quoted a stupid price by the rickshaw driver to take me to Easy Day, I walked up to him, named my price and off I went! The first time I tried to negotiate, the drivers wouldn’t budge of their ridiculous fees. They can see now that I know what to pay. It’s just interesting how quickly you adapt to a place.

This evening there was a second round of teacher training from the students. Our group teacher was a young Frenchman. He often comes across as quite offhand and has very little to do with people, but every now and then he will chat with us all and appear excited. He practices in front of me usually and I can’t help but notice how dirty his clothes are. Stains are all over his shirt and pants - no one else in the class dresses this way. His body odour is also another problem. Thankfully I can’t smell him when he is in front of me - but sitting next to him can be a challenge. But regardless of appearances, underneath the exterior is (I think) a genuinely lovely man, clearly an introverted man hence the reason he is a bit of a loner most of the time. Back to his class - his savasana had me, and the group next to us, in hysterics (keep in mind we are to be silent in class - no talking other than the teacher is permitted). For those who don’t know, savasana (dead mans pose) is a relaxation pose at the end of your class, where you rest quietly on the floor. But this didn’t happen in my Frenchman’s class - oh no! He had us stretching, stretching, stretching every part of our body - then lifting, lifting, lifting other parts of our body - then scrunching, scrunching, scrunching the face - then sticking the tongue out, out out…. I absolutely lost it. One had to be there to fully understand, but just know I (and the rest of the group) could not control the laughter after silently going along with his direction for a couple of minutes or so. I had the tears streaming, even my nose was running I laughed so hard. And chanting - forget it. Every time I opened my mouth I was gone again. We all were. This will certainly be a memorable savasana for me, and anyone else in the world who takes a class of his one day. Ahhhh - good times.

Tonights practice with our proper teacher, Bharath, was fantastically strong. Kakasana and I are still friends - in fact we are getting to know each other quite well! I am also becoming good friends with Kakasana’s cousin, Parsva Kakasana. This is a twist to the side rather than straight in front. I can’t believe how strong and engaged I am becoming. It’s fantastic. And now, I’m sitting at my little desk with my cup-a-noodles and tea (all made with my new kettle) writing these thoughts. It really is lovely to feel a little more settled, and even more lovely to have one of those days that ‘just worked’.

So - on that note, it is time to study and then off to bed.

Thank you for reading.

Namaste xx


Just something lovely

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

Testing the limits... Kasana is the goal!

I have 4 weeks until I leave and I’m still having difficulty remembering all the names of the many postures. But - I won’t give up.

I’ve found the best way to learn is to practice the posture as I pronounce it. Sometimes it’s the feeling of pain or complete uncoordination which makes the posture memorable. Let’s take for example Mayurasana. Although you can tell there is some serious strength in the posture, you have no idea how much until you try. Let’s just say I’ve ended up face first into my mat MANY times.

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My excuse for being a little weaker than normal is being unwell. However, I don’t think that has anything to do with the difficulty I have sitting in Padmasana. I actually have bruises on the insides of my legs from practicing it.

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My goal for the next 2 weeks is to hold Kakasana for 10 seconds. I know i can do that. Then I will think about Mayurasana…

To be honest - the difficulty in yoga makes it so much more exciting or me. Look at what amazing things the body can do when trained properly. It’s phenomenal. I just need to get there - but in my time of course.

On a totally separate note, the marketing manager for Manduka replied to an earlier email of mine and is seeking more information from me re sponsorship opportunities. Very exciting!

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Namaste xx