Practice, Ego and Patience

OK.  I knew in advance that practice in the shala would be a challenge for both my knees and my ego and that has turned out to be the case.  First week, day one:  Sharath quickly honed in on me and said that I was to stop after Marichyasana D and go to shoulder stand.  No backbends.  Then lead class I was told to add backbends (or maybe everyone was told to add backbends).

So today I practice to Marichy D and then move to do a short set of backbends from the floor. Third backbend and I push up to standing, and look around to see if Sharath is either smiling or frowning at me.  No Sharath.  I stand for a while and think, “OK, no information today”.  About that time I turn around and Guruji is standing in front of me, three drop backs and then arms crossed and then hands down and a “straight your arms”.  I had heard from Lizzie that Guruji is like a rock in backbends, but I now have first hand evidence.

So, Marichyasana continues to progress, I do get a little deeper and closer everyday, but the real learning this week has been patience to wait on Marichy D, and the knowledge of how much my ego is caught up in backbending and how I need to watch that I am backbending as a progress in my practice and not as a stroke to my ego.

Other than the daily practice, days are email and blogging, food, sleep and some shopping.  People are great and from all over.  Though I feel for the longer term residents who have to deal with all of us first timers asking the same litany of questions:

  • Where are you from?
  • When did you arrive or the related question of what time do you start practice?
  • How long are you here for?
  • Where do you practice to?
  • And, of course, the list of questions about food, digestion and “related issues”.

This weekend is the beginning of Diwali, so the shala is closed for three days (there is a moon day) and so plans are a foot for some out-of-town excursion to escape the firecrackers, and partying.  Otherwise, the San Francisco/Bay Area contingent is good and continues to expand: three or four from the city, one from Napa/Marin, and Marcus and myself from the Peninsula. I think we expect one more on Thursday.

More later.


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