Back to basics again

When I first got back to Thailand after Christmas, I was eager to go back to Mysore practice. Not having been able to do this during the 2 months in Bali was just frustrating and there is something that I really missed about going to Mysore. Of course, I had (perhaps a bit less) tried to stay with the practice during Christmas and New Year. But hey, after 5 years of not spending Christmas in my home country it would have been rude to not accept a bit of festive life. We are just human after all. 

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After a few freezing days in Stockholm (with Bali clothes), I was quite happy to be in the warm climate again back i Asia. There is something about Thailand that just makes me feel like home. Somehow life is easy, people friendly and you don’t ask yourself so many questions. Things just work.

Anyways, energetic and full of hope, I found this small Ashtanga studio where it wasn’t too pricey to go for a trial class. As I wasn’t sure how long I would stay, I didn’t want to commit for a full month. That feeling of waking up early, see a new city waking up and be on the way to something new, that’s something that I have missed.

I entered a small dark room where there were a few students practising. The teacher seemed really nice and humble, probably from north of Thailand. I was amazed by the sunrise above the high skyscrapers with the sky painted in pink and orange and thought that this could be a new beginning. Every day could actually feel like that doing the morning practice.

My positive mood was quickly destroyed when I realised how weak my personal practice had become. I don’t know if it was the long trip, the jetlag, lack of sleep, the heat, or perhaps just too much champagne over new nears. As a yoga teacher with a regular practice, having taught classes all summer and quite freshly graduated from a rather hard core 4h a day with the Ashtanga Vinyasa method I was thinking that I could maybe do this? I was wrong.

I was wrong. To my surprised belief, I found myself not even being able to breathe properly! I could hear my own cues I would tell my students and here I was breathing like a sobbing dog. Hm… Everything was hurting, I couldn’t breathe, I was nervous because the teacher was new and after 1 Sun Salutation A, I was dripping sweat in incredible amounts on my mat.

I decided to humble myself and get through practice no matter what and the teacher was actually really helpful helping me with a few tips and tricks, techniques that I learned for some of the poses. Not only was I out of breath, felt weak, I was also incredibly stiff (compared to my normal range).

Maybe this is the reason why I like Ashtanga yoga so much. We turn up on the mat no matter what. We take the practice for what it is, accepting us for who we are that day without judging and just observing. Sometimes it’s good to humble the ego and think about what’s “normal”, what’s a “normal” practice anyway?

For sure this was a useful lesson. Yes, even teachers feel like beginners sometimes but that’s ok. Actually, the more I practice, the more I realise how little I know. But I continue, and it’s not the end goal that is interesting but the journey there. 

A few weeks after this first Mysore week I can say that travelling has a certain impact on your body. After about a month of practice I’m back to “normal” again and at least I can breathe better now. Getting stronger again and enjoy seeing the sunrise in Thailand. Sometimes 

Sometimes it’s good to take a step back. With all the “fancy” yoga these days, it’s easy to put pressure on yourself. Sometimes it’s good to just be. Not working on those hard poses but just focusing flowing through Vinyasas and be conscious about breath, actually just being conscious being alive. 

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