I think I’ve fallen in love..

With Iyengar yoga!

My oh my.. What a revelation the past few days have been. There are a combination of reasons for this firstly I love that the practice gives me permission to a totally anal and that it’s complete acceptable to:

Have a mat that’s always straight (rather than wonky).

Line up the outside edge of my feet using the very straight edge of my mat.

Take time to enjoy folding a blanket (with precision).

Pack up all the equipment after class.

These are only small bonuses of course but ones that make me happy none the less, the little things… The real joy is a bit deeper and comes from some very simple set of instructions that transform a yoga practise and cause something very profound to take place, a step nearer to inner connection, which is ultimately the aim after all… So how exactly does that happen? Well Iyengar is all about the detail and instruction, which create an enquiry and in turn a connection with the body. Becoming the observer rather thinking a myriad of things such as:

“What shall I have for dinner?”

“Why are we doing this again, I hate this posture!”

“Oh my god how long do I have to stay in this posture??!” With a scrunched up face as though being tortured (this I have been guilty of so many times!)

I have also felt totally engaged during the practice which is nothing short of a miracle given my short attention span. This I believe comes from quieting the mind as it’s too busy observing the difference an adjustment makes and being totally captivated by it.

This morning I practised with Hari (my usual teacher) and I had the chance to incorporate the things I’d learnt during the Iyengar classes. Then this afternoon another Iyengar class to make the most of it whilst I’m  here. This coupled with some Christmas card making in the sand and some beautiful sun rise and sun set walks on the beach has created a pretty special day which I’m very grateful for.

Last few days in Gokarna….

I’ve wondered into Gokarna in between classes of the weekend Iyengar yoga workshop! Lena’s eagle spotted a poster in a one of the beach cafe’s yesterday and fits perfectly with my desire to explore Iyengar style further and use my time productively over the last few days I have left in Gokarna.

Back to the workshop later… first an update on general goings on. I had hoped to get some photos on here but I’m not going to have time but will aim to get some on before I leave here. My ramblings might need at least a little bit of a break with some lovely visuals for you.

So what to share…. Always a challenge to articulate my experiences and am going to make more of an effort to note down the beautiful little moments that punctuate my trip. My travel buddy for the last week Lena departed this morning, I’m not embarrassed to say I was a little but teary! It’s been such an easy week in terms of sharing time, space and lots of interesting subjects. Precious to share such a ease, especially when you don’t know someone very well.

So the days have been mostly:

Sticking to the early rising of 0600 for chanting

Ayurvedic massage

Yoga

Brunch

Afternoon adventures of either Gokarna, a walk or enjoying the beach

Sunset on the beach with a cheeky chilled beer

A little wonder to soak up the beach atmosphere that the sunset creates – drumming, dancing, fires, music making…

Dinner

Early to bed (rock and roll)

 

The daily massage has been a big luxury and certainly a treat, which has been just gorgeous. divine oils and then a the application of a heated back infused with an array of gorgeous herbs. I was a little bit sad that today did not consist of a massage but I’ll just have to get over that one!

Other highlights have included a walk along the coast to some smaller beaches called Paradise and Half Moon. We had intended to kayak from Om beach but sadly someone pipped us to the post – not to be. The walk was none the less gorgeous and fulfilling, when we arrived at Paradise all there was were a handful of people, who were camping under the stars and a man selling coconuts and water. So what to do but refresh with one of my favourite things, hen a dip in the sea to cool down – bliss…

As luck would have it there was a man with a boat so after some negotiating on the price (Lena rather than me I hasten to add) we secured a trip back to Om. It was only a brief trip but was certainly one of those ‘simple pleasure’ moments. No Dolphin sightings sadly but I was happy to drink in the sensation of speeding along the expanse of the Pacific ocean for a short time.

Last night was another evening of chanting and Kirtan, which didn’t fail to uplift. I managed to get hold of the drum again. A few moments lacking rhythm (when I started thinking!!!) but mostly felt pretty good! I’m tempted to buy myself one.. we’ll see….

I nearly forgot to mention that I went to see an Astrologer! Swamiji at the Ashram had talked about it and I was intrigued. It was a great experience and as long as you don’t take these things too seriously, it can be eyes opening. I was slightly unnerved by the revelation that I will have two children. Christ. Hoped to avoid that one!!! Time will tell of course… It’s all looking good career wise from March, so I might not be living on the streets on my return after all! There were other parts of course but those are the ones which come to mind. Oooh that and the personal mantra I was given, love that.. My deity is Hanuman the monkey god, which is ironic given the monkey mind.

So now I must head back to Kudle beach for the next class of my Iyengar workshop, I’m loving the precision and technical elements of the practice, really helping me to make a bit more sense of it all. I also realise now the Iyengar influences of my teacher Rosemary back in the UK.

Might have to stop for some coconut refreshment on the way back… until next time….