There’s so much to catch up on! I’ve been traveling a bit these past weeks and have enjoyed some time away from the computer.
I’ll try to catch up, but first I want to give a shout out to the Ashtanga Yoga Center on the Outer Banks in Nags Head, NC.
I spent a wonderful week vacationing with the family and was positively thrilled to discover an Ashtanga yoga shala just ten minutes from our house. I arrived on Saturday and went to Sunday’s Led Primary class, which was a full two hours. The rest of the week, I went to Mysore at 6.30 am.
The studio is small and, at this time of year, unbelievably hot and humid. I’d never practiced in that kind of heat and it was intense. The studio, of course, is not air conditioned and the windows were kept closed. My family had lots of questions about this. Why is yoga practiced indoors, with so much heat and humidity? I didn’t have an answer other than: that’s just the traditional method. In the Yoga Mala, Pattabhi Jois references the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and says that yoga should not be practiced outdoors: “…the body will be sapped and its power exhausted if, in an effort to dry the sweat of practice, it is exposed to outside air.” Sweat should not be wiped off, but should be massaged into the body. I tried to do this, but the sweat was too much. It didn’t dry, so I used a towel.
One perk of all that sweat is that my arms effortlessly slipped through the lotus in Garba Pindasana. I laughed. Typically, it’s just not possible because I sweat only enough to get sticky, but this time I was downright slick!
While the heat and the sweat was impressive, I did my best to “just practice”. The studio has great energy. It’s dimly lit, peaceful and friendly. Michelle, who owns the studio and teaches most of the classes, studied with Tim Miller in Encinitas, CA. She follows the traditional method and is both gentle and firm with adjustments. In the short time I was there, I got some good feedback and things to work on. She was welcoming and, by the end of the week, I was sad to go. The studio has a nice community; students are at all levels and are friendly, chatting a bit before, during and after practice.
If you are ever in the area, stop by and check out this great little shala! Thanks, Michelle, for creating such a nice practice environment!