I feel very tall today.  Walking up Hanoman street after practice, I still had “Mula Bandha” echoing in my head.  Mula Bandha, Mula Bandha.  The mystical root lock – yoga’s equivalent of the G-spot.  You haven’t lived until you’ve discovered it…and when you’ve hit it…you just know.  Apparently.

In preparation for this life-altering moment you have to just keep engaging, not the muscles exactly, but everything in the kind of groin area…or something.  I figure if I just lift and tense, just enough to feel a kind of an awareness of it, then I’m headed in the right direction.

Today was a crazy day.  The last seven days have seen a steadily building pressure of black clouds.  The humidity is stifling, and the damp has crept mercilessly into every fibre of my world.  Bags that are beyond redemption have been discarded, every item of cloth ferried to the Laundrette down the road to see if an industrial strength detergent, washing machine and dryer will dissolve the highly contagious mould.   Mosquitos are breeding in the festering puddles on the side of the road, dogs and flies relishing in the pungent piles of litter.  And perhaps, most terrifying of all, the monkeys are rioting.  Alpha males bellowing and howling as they charge across the roofs of shops and cafes on the outskirts of the Forest.  Teeth are bared with a ferocity that sends me cowering back into Nyuhkuning, as if it were a street gang war…I don’t want to get caught in the cross-fire.

The shala was not protected from this seasonal chaos.  Water gushed and poured down the bamboo drapes, collected and pooled in the corners of the room, seeping into the rows of yoga mats.  An energy and banter filled the room, like being at school when a hurricane warning turns red.

Prem told us that due to the weather, the cold, the rain, we had licence to pick up the pace, generate more heat, take deeper breaths.

I don’t know if it was the weather, the energising fullness of the moon, a balance in my diet, or the permission from Prem to pick it up, but something kick-started in me, maybe it was that spark, that flare of a fire they’ve all been talking about.  I felt strong and powerful.  Completely in control of every motion, sinking deeper into each pose, hips surrendering, chest opening up…my lungs felt clear.  It was fucking marvellous.

But what I know now is that I mustn’t get carried away.  I mustn’t  get swept up into the euphoria of a successful practice…I can feel it, enjoy it, but ultimately observe it and let it go.  In the same way that I’m learning to let disappointment and frustration move through me, and not hang around my neck like a tightening noose.

I have one day of practice left, and my health is precarious.  Bites and grazes are swelling up and refusing to heal.  The beginnings of a cold
dripping into the back of my throat, a rash, that looks like scabies has spread across my knee, but I’ve been reassured by Cas, who’s a nurse, that its more likely Poison Ivy.  I’m trying not to research the internet at 3 in the morning, and deciding to just have faith, like I’m beginning to have faith in everything else, that things will just work out.   The whole point of this practice is that you do it every day (except for Saturdays and Moon Days), whether you’re happy or sad, energetic or tired, busy or bored, stressed or relaxed.  Whether the sun is shining outside and the birds are singing, or the shala’s about to get washed away, like today.  If you’re with people, or without.  Travelling or at home.  The practice is about you, just you, and the mat.   How wonderfully uncomplicated, how reassuringly constant.

 

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