Made the most of our last stress-free, travel-free day with a good practice in our apartment. We are so well set up here with everything we need; plenty of space, chair, bolsters, ropes, balcony that doubles as a trestle for supported standing poses etc. We leave with regret, our lifestyle here is extremely comfortable and pleasant.We have Women’s Class in the morning and then home for lunch before we are picked up for our two night trip to Panchgani. According to Wikipedia, Panchgani is nestled in the middle of five hills in the Sahyadri mountain range and was founded by a Brit during the British Raj. The hotel we have booked has a pool with a beautiful tree filled vista, so I’m cautiously looking forward to it (it never pays to expect too much here – I’ve had enough Indian adventures in the past to know how things can go!).
Pranayama this evening with Rajalaxmi, the numbers in the hall are pretty civilised now and the fans are going on as a matter of course, not just when it’s an extremely active class and they notice we are all on the verge of spontaneous combustion. Even with the fans and the static class, there was still sweat trickling down the backs of my knees! Most beautiful invocation yet – it reminded me that I’d read somewhere that a melodious voice is one of the benefits of a correct yoga practice.
Our Local Shops – Maharastra Stores and Shirole Farm – Better than Tesco!
We started with a beautiful savasana; just the tri fold blanket under back chest, armpit region, arms tucked underneath blanket. Legs crossed on the bolster to get the softness of the abdomen – with the legs this way there is no ‘pull’ on the abdomen and the groins get the release. She talked again about how tight groins can relate to some emotional trauma. When we first lay down, before we had crossed the legs, she said there is a back rim of your pelvis, just as there is a front rim of the pelvis right? Move the back rim of the pelvis away from the back to create the abdomen release. Although many times and many different way I have been given this instruction (eg move the buttocks away from the waist) I found this instruction to move the back pelvic rim seemed to make me adjust more effectively the very upper bony region of the top buttock and this felt really good on my pre-menstrual achy back. I very much enjoyed this supported savasana.
The seated pranayama of course presents much more of a challenge – to mind properly the myriad of different instructions that are continuously coming AND not to succumb to tension anywhere, is not something I find easy at all. Instructions and explanations tend to be very lengthy and repetitive and often I am struggling to maintain before the actual pranayama has begun.
We did seated anta kumbhak and as Rajalaxmi demonstrated on stage ‘inhaling the fragrance’ as she maintained the retention of the full inhalation. She talked again about the seeping quality the breath must have – the breath has to irrigate the field, the farmer has planted his crops there carefully, when he irrigates the field he does not want to flood it with water – the breath has to seep not flood and wash everything away. You definitely should not feel that you are inflating the chest like you inflate a balloon. My experience of this was that it hardly feels as though any breath is coming in at all and it takes a long time to fill, but when you exhale it is very surprising the volume of breath that has seeped in.
From Ganesha Temple near Laxmi Road