It is Sunday – a restful day. We just completed a full week of backbends. Wow! I have never done so many backbends in one week in my life. It has been hard work but exhilarating and fun as well. In practice, I decided to really take on the Urdhva Dhanurasana drop back, to gain some confidence, rhythm and consistency. I prepared quite deliberately, using the sequences that Geeta and Prashant were teaching that week. Then my friend Tina and I helped each other, until I finally did 5 drop backs completely unassisted, and even managed to stand up from a few of them. The next day I thought I should be sure it wasn’t a fluke, so we did it all again. That night in class, Geeta taught drop backs for almost the whole class! She said if you could drop back independently to stay in the center of the room (versus going to the wall), and I thought, Oh dear, that is the group I am in now! I must have dropped back 15 times. Geeta taught many details, especially about how to get back up, which I cannot do very well or very often. But it was amazing to have the opportunity to use my new found courage in the class.
We had to miss our trip to The Meridian today as I woke up with a bad sore throat. It is hard to avoid some kind of respiratory problem here. It is very polluted and the immune system is taxed with adapting to the food and water. In addition, the practice hall is unavoidably dusty, with the very fibrous blankets they use here. So I took it easy today and hopefully will be feeling better soon.
Nina and I have been doing class notes with Glenys, a friend from the UK. She is a very experienced teacher and always has great insights. Since she has been coming here for so many years, she has great stories about India and the Iyengars. She helped Nina and me work on some poses today, and she is so knowledgeable and so generous. She was my flatmate last time I was here, so it has been nice to re-connect with her on this trip.
Next week will be the pranayama (breathing) week and I am looking forward to that. We will be home in exactly one week. This week we will do a little last minute shopping, and hopefully get our confirmation letters for our next trip to India in August 2010.