Day Two of my week of Mysore with Manju. I was remarkably sore, especially in the shoulders, and took it as easy as I could in vinyasas. The room is very humid! I am pleased with my fancy new yoga shorts. They don’t get as “damp” as my cotton yoga pants. However, my legs get very sticky, which makes Lotus difficult. But I have sort of a crappy Lotus anyway, so no worries.
After practice, I came home and took a salt bath, then lounged on the sofa for awhile and watched a movie. By noon, I was feeling well-rested and happy to have a full day ahead of me. Emboldened by a couple of good practices and some quality down time, I decided to go to Manju’s afternoon workshop. I wanted to learn some of the pranayama and chanting.
When the workshop began with practice, I was a little disappointed. I prefer workshops that are more talking, less practicing. The morning Mysore is enough practice; I was hoping the afternoon would be some theory. But I kept my head up and vowed to take it easy, not push and focus on breath and bandhas. By the time we got past Navasana, I was feeling alright and knew I could get through the final stretch just fine. After the last pose, I was waiting to see what the vinyasa would be; I’m always a little unclear at how it goes. Then, instead of telling us to go to Urdvha Dhanurasana, Manju said: “Pashasana”. What? That’s a Second Series pose. Well, we continued through Second Series, up to Tittibhasana D. All the while, I was thinking, “I only do Primary! And I’m tired!” But it was okay. I gained some momentum and all those backbends fired me up. It was fun to play with some poses that I don’t get to do. The leg-behind-the-head poses were fun, even though the leg was not quite behind the head. After a nice long Savasana, we finally got to do the pranayama and chanting. He said chanting turns back the clock and makes you younger.
Someone asked about diet and he said, “Diet is simple. Eat good food.”
Clarifying the relationship between yoga and religion, he said: We do the practice; there’s no need to talk about it. There’s no guilt. If somebody doesn’t want to do it, it’s fine.
Also: Asanas discipline the body. Get the body in good shape and clean. Then, clean up the mind. Pranayama takes care of the internal system. Asana, Pranayama and Mantra takes care of everything. He recommended chanting 108 times each day.
Finally, to address concern about making progress with yoga, he said: Practice with NO expectations. As soon as you have expectation, you are disappointed. Just do the practice every day.
Well, I’m doing the practice every day. I can’t say that I *needed* an additional two-hour practice of Primary plus half of Second. But I survived. And I’m committed to the rest of the week. That’s the easy part. After the week is over, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with my practice.