Friday, September 3, 2010


Hooray! I’ve made it to the end of the six-day week! It’s my very first practising Intermediate Series and doing the dreaded Long Practice.

Friday is Led Primary day. I haven’t always followed this tradition, but now that my regular practice is longer, I’m all ‘HOORAY! LED PRIMARY! MY FAVOURITE!’ :-D

In that spirit, I decided to forgo practising my led at home (with Sharath’s CD) and do some Yoga Tourism instead. I visited Shala East.

Yes, there’s a Shala East. It’s the close cousin of Shala South, but reportedly a tad more on the traditional side. The teacher, DG, has been authorized by Sharath - something I wasn’t aware of until this week.

I’ve long been curious about this Shala and since DG leads a Primary Series every Friday, I figured it would be a good opportunity to try out the room. With a slightly less traditional focus, I thought it might be an option for me if I decided that I needed a teacher’s eyes on my Intermediate poses.

Back in high school, a favourite teacher of mine used to say: “It’s not bad, it’s different.” I think that definitely applies here.

It was different.

The commute was a bit long - almost an hour, most of it on ground transportation. This isn’t a total deal-breaker: I’m starting to realise that I’m willing to travel for a good teacher in a traditional room.

It’s a beautiful space. It’s on the second floor, with changerooms and a shared washroom, but no showers. The Mysore room has pretty wooden floors and a big picture window to the sky. There are lots of props and people use them.

Yup! Just like Shala South, this studio is a bit on the non-traditional side.

The style was very, very different than I’m used to. Though the class was led, it wasn’t led in Sanskrit counts (a least, not entirely) and there was no opening chant (but we did do the closing chant). There was more variation in the room than I’m used to seeing, in terms of alignment and the way students approached the postures. I saw very few adjustments, though I’m certain that there would be more during an actual Mysore class. Music was playing as we ‘took rest.’

And there was air conditioning! It came on about an hour into the practice after I had already worked up a good sweat. The room was initially warm, but not terribly warm when we started but I was *freezing* by finishing. I must have been in the drafty spot because I could actually feel the ‘breeze.’

To be honest, I felt a bit out-of-place in this room. I might go back for a Mysore class just to get more of a feel for the teacher, but my initial impression is that it’s a poor fit for me. Apparently, I’ve been become very traditional in my approach to Astanga! I’m more comfortable in a traditional room (in light of that, it’s a shame I didn’t develop more of a rapport with the Shala Central teachers; in that respect, their teaching is superb).

This is all pretty ironic, given the dialogue unfolding in the comments section yesterday and the direction of my practice in recent weeks. I may be ‘traditional’ but my practice is colouring me outside the lines right now. It’s given me some food for thought, but I have no regrets. I have a strong sense that everything is unfolding as it should.

I think the Universe is telling me to stop being such a whiny baby and just do my practice, so that’s what I’m going to do. And I’ll do it at home for now.


While I was finishing up some work for a freelance web client this afternoon, I cleaned up this website and ‘moved the furniture around’. The site has a new look! For those of you who read via the RSS feed, you may want to pop over and have a look around.

You’ll now find tabs at the top of the site leading to my Links Pages, the famous Vegan Muffin recipe and my About Page. I’ve also added a gallery of photographs for my State-of-the-Backbend dating back to 2008. It includes a ‘slideshow’ which is pretty funky and makes it look like backbends can deepen over the course of a few minutes (always a good diversion if you’re feeling discouraged!).

I’ve also added a ‘Best of...’ Page with links to some of my favourite all-time posts, as well as a few that receive frequent visits from readers. If you have a favourite that I haven’t listed, get in touch. I’d love to add it to the list!


This week’s Princess Fur photo:

Waiting at the Bed & Breakfast for ‘Grandma’ to make an appearance.

I didn’t manage to give my mother any grandchildren, but she did get a cute schnauzer out of the deal!


m said...

This is so, so strange! DG does a led primary at Shala South on Friday as well, but it is HOT--sweaty, crazy hot--and he does the opening but not always the closing chant. So strange! DG will be doing a morning mysore at SS as of this fall if you ever feel like dropping by.

Kaivalya said...

Hi, M! The air conditioning thing could have been a fluke - the room certainly started out warm! I didn't know DG was starting a morning Mysore at South. Is he discontinuing the one at East? I didn't see anything about it in the newsletter.

Spina said...

This is a beautiful new look, but I have to admit I really liked the old ascetic one. But then I've been reading your blog for years and it certainly evolved (along with your practice), so it deserves this ;-)

Anonymous said...

"I didn’t manage to give my mother any grandchildren, but she did get a cute schnauzer out of the deal!"