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The Nescafe Princess

practising under Panchakarma day 13...

sunny 34 °C

The last few days have been pretty good. The Panchakarma is going well though its much tougher detoxing for 3 weeks than it is for 8 days. I've had all kinds of symptoms I didn't have so much last time. Patches of dry skin coming up, complete and utter weariness, sleeping loads and feeling quite introverted and just wanting to read and be quiet. Feeling as chilled as a Buddha statue and having the most lucid dreams. Last night I was chasing around the backstage of a theatre looking for polish for a pair of cowboy boots... Don't know what that means... Also was feeling too stiff to go to Ashtanga practice for 2 days and just slept more. Then I was in a bookshop in Ramjhula and bumped into this American guy who's doing it too, and is about the same stage as me. We compared symptoms and his were very similar. Another weird thing is how hungry I've been. Its not a 'diet' because you can eat as much as you like as long as its unprocessed, vegetarian, not fried, sugary, too spicy etc so its easy, but two nights ago I'd had curry, rice and vegetables followed by some fruit and it was a good portion too- 30 minutes later I ate most of a loaf of bread (sattvic, wholemeal, handbaked naturally) as I was still hungry. Then a big bag of mixed nuts and raisins, it was crazy but my stomach felt completely empty rather than it being wanting to eat for any other reason. Dr Arora said that hungers totally natural at this point and its a good sign that I'm healthy and I should eat if its a natural hunger because I'm just stocking up on minerals etc and I need the protein. And he said I could eat some paneer too if I wanted (Indian cottage cheese, very very good, especially in stuffed paratha bread). Anyway, the insane hunger seems to have eased off today, and this morning I woke up with boundless energy and went to Ashanga which was great. It was just myself and one other person, we worked on the primary series and chatted to Louise quite a bit. She studied with Pattabhi Jois for years and has some great chat. She was saying that Pattabhi Jois always liked to work on a very individual basis and was less prescriptive than people tend to think, offering different modifications for different people, and even telling people to have lives! In other words, to go off and do stuff like have families rather than just doing asana practice all day every day.. I think from what I saw in Mysore, a lot of people have forgotten that Yoga is a tool for you to live more completely in the world, not camp out in Gokulam for months and stroking rather than transcending your ego... Speaking of which, since I've accepted that its going to take me another two years or so to be able to get all the way through the primary series my practice feels better. Freer.
I've been attending the Sivananda class most evenings for two hours. Its a beautiful practice, not dissimilar to the Bihar sequence- as in, once you've done Pranayama, sun salutations and some preliminary warm ups you start with the headstand followed by shoulderstand. Its a slow, gentle and meditative practice, great to balance out the Ashtanga. I love the way that theres not the injury paranoia/ fear of being sued issues that there are in the UK. Basically if you're not ready to do something you don't do it and you're credited with some intelligence and take responsibility for what you do. The woman who teaches the class is great. She cames around and hoists you into a better position, sometimes not too gently. And she has to spend a lot of time chasing monkeys away! There seem to be more and more baby ones hanging around and they are so sweet but we've had to start putting our flip flops inside as too many were being stolen for toys...
Sandra left a day ago- to go to Delhi to finish up some work and stuff. Rishikesh is now a much quieter place! I miss her but we're in touch and I have to go visit her in the South of France sometime. Another French person showed up, Sebastien, on a motorbike. I was talking with him at dinner last night, he's been living in French Guyana for years and has many tales of jungles and malaria.. He's like a character in a book.
I also finally got around to going to visit Soma at his ashram- the Gita Ashram in Ramjhula where he's lived pretty much all his life. Its a huge place with loads of grounds and a beautiful temple but its quite rundown and the swimming pool is dry. Theres a nice vibe there though and I met some other students of Yoga and drank some tea. I was discussing stiff muscles with a couple of people and they recommended a good Iyengar teacher who's an expert in what to do when you've over extended yourself- the backs of my knees are feeling tender- the joints and bones feel ok but I need to revisit uttanasana, formerly one of my favourites but currently we're having a rough patch in our relationship and I need to reconnect with it... So I went to the Omkarananda Ashram and signed up for evening classes in my last week. I'm going to go to the Gita Ashram again, its interesting. Its a very similar set up to the Maharishi Ashram, it really needs some funds though. I asked Soma if he was planning on staying there all his life. He said "I will be here. Unless I go somewhere." with Indian astuteness. He's got a nice flat there and he teaches Yoga and does Reiki too. Reiki's very popular here, as is astrology and palmistry.
The last night that Sandar was here we were feeling very silly and theres this man on the bridge who's been pestering us to get our palms read for ages, chasing us up to the bridge brandishing a huge magnifying glass... Anyway, I gave in and got my palm read (again, I know, I know...). He's got this huge moustache as do a lot of Indian men of a certain age- they sport the kind of well tended walruses you see in Victorian photos, I wonder if its a remnant of colonialism?! Mind you I've seen ancient Celtic sculptures of warriors with huge handlebar moustaches so maybe its part of an ancient Indo Europen tradition that goes back much further... Anyway, his reading was fab. He said that all the small moles on my forearms were lucky, that I was going to have all the love and peace in the world, that I was going to live like royalty, have a fabulous lifestyle, a fantastic man etc etc.... And that things would be so wonderful I would be able to drink Nescafe coffee EVERY day!
Well I'm easily pleased:).............................................

Posted by victoria8 00:19 Archived in India Tagged women

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Hi Victoria, remember me from Mysore? I have been following your blog weekly and it's keeping me inspired with new places to visit. I intend heading back end Nov again to Vinay's wonderful class in Mysore and then later to Rishikesh perhaps but am also interested in the Yoga Vidya Gurukul. Oh help, so much to learn, but it's great getting a good insight from people who have been to these places and I enjoy your writing. Hope you have a great last few days and a safe trip home. Gia

by giagraphic

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