Cows in India have free reign in the streets. I’ve never seen anyone hassling a cow or getting it to move on.
I came out of our house yesterday and saw this cow sitting happily in the middle of the road. Vehicles which could fit past went around her, and those that couldn’t reversed and went up the adjacent road.
It occurred to me that, if a cow did this in Dublin, it would probably be on the news! But it’s totally normal here.
Going home is going to be quite a culture shock!
Picture the scene: I’ve just done somewhere between eight and ten backbends and I stand up to try some unassisted dropbacks. I conquer the fear once and manage to get to the floor, from where I try, unsuccessfully, to stand back up. No dice.
I get to my feet again and attempt to drop back again. As I’m preparing myself Sharath comes and stands in front of me (about 6 inches in front of me actually!). I go back and my hands touch the floor again. He doesn’t help me. I walk in a little bit and Sharath puts his hands on my thighs. I stand up with ease, unsure of how it happened.
He says “you can do it”. I’m not so sure.
He helps me to do three of those half-bend drop back thingys and then brings me all the way down (I walk in again) and back up.
I’m physically and mentally drained and, as usual, a little shell-shocked by the back-bending experience.
Sharath says, “You come to the office later and fill out the authorisation form. Actually, come tomorrow, I won’t be there today”.
I say “ok”. Which is all I can manage if I’m honest.
Then I get into the pascimattanasana position on the floor and he presses me down hard. I say “uuugggh”. After 3 breaths he’s gone and I’m thinking, “…..”
And that’s the story of how I got authorised!
Ok I haven’t done one of these for a while but here we go.
First up is a great essay written by certified teacher Tim Miller about his first experiences with Ashtanga Yoga, travelling to India and learning with Guruji. It’s easy to read in just one sitting and it’s always nice to hear long-time students talk about their early days with the practice. I highly recommend it.
Rich Roll, two time top-finisher at the Ultraman world championships has written this article on why every athlete should practise yoga. If he says it, then it must be true!
Further to that video that went viral of Arthur learning how to walk again through yoga practice, his teacher (and former pro-wrestler) Diamond Dallas Page has done this interview talking about his DDP yoga programme. Personally I love his slogan; “It Aint Your Mama’s Yoga” but maybe I’m just crass. Anyway, DDP is more of a yogi than he would let on by the sounds of things. Check it out.
Eddie Stern recently included this in his blog. It’s the story of an elementary school teacher called John Hunter in the USA who invented a game called the World Peace Game. It’s an inspiring example of what is possible through proper thought-provoking education, not just book-learning. World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more.
Lets jump straight in this week and start with a video from the New York Times in which Eddie Stern talks a little bit about Ashtanga Yoga. From what we see of Eddie on the web, we really like him.
Canadian teacher, Paul Gold, asks an important question in this article. Fewer practice days or less practice every day? Sharath was asked this same question in London last August and he said ‘You just have to do what you can’.
Two videos of Guruji in Copenhagen in 2006. I’ve already posted these on our facebook page but here they are again for those of you who missed them. First, a short video documenting Guruji’s visit to Copenhagen followed by a 17 minute conference given by Guruji with Sharath and Saraswathi.
We came across this film about bio-dynamic/organic farming in India. It raises a lot of questions about working with nature (as opposed to trying to conquer nature) to produce food. Peter Proctor (the father of modern biodynamics) is a New-Zealander who now lives just outside Mysore at the Bhaktivedanta Academy for Sustainable Integrated Living. We are told in the film that he knows more about soil than probably anyone else on the planet. This is well worth a watch.
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