Thursday, 24 January 2013

Exhaustion, obsession

Today was a tough one. Because the full moon is on Sunday we've had two six-day weeks. Primary series tomorrow, then two days' rest.

I did my dropbacks and went into an iffy handstand, dropped over into a backbend, started trying to jump back over. Sharath was sitting on the stage. His feet didn't appear. Five or six times I jumped, to no avail. I came down and set up again for handstand. I know where he is.... I avoid looking around with that needy look.

Handstand and over. The handstand isn't easy, I'm only kind of catching it, I'm out of practice, but I go over and jump.

Some feet appear. No toe bandages. From the front of the room I hear 'Noooo.... let her try'.

Crash! Crash! Crash! Over and over I jump, and my feet fall back to the mat. Each time, it seems clumsier and noisier. There are some grunts and groans now. The crashing is making a hell of a racket. My shoulders are doing funny things, and not always the same things left and right. I come down, stand up, set up again.

Handstand, over. Jump - crash! Jump - crash! Jump - crash!

Frustration... and the thought, 'WHAT THE FUCK DO I HAVE TO DO TO NAIL THIS FUCKER?!!!'

I'm making a spectacle of myself. I feel sorry for the people beside me (sorry, Ed). I feel sorry for myself. How long have I been trying to do this? Four years? When was I first given this work? Yoga Thailand? Kino? Cary?? I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER, it's been that long. I feel stupid, I feel self-conscious. The whole room knows about me, because I'm 'the girl who blogs about practice and Can't Do Tictocs'. What a lame spectacle to watch from the foyer.

The feet are back, and someone is helping me over. JUST. I'm tired.... I get to the top, I almost crash back the way I came, my legs won't stay together... but over we go. Three times, over and back. I don't even know who it is until after. It's the new guy on shift.... maybe Spanish? He's done a good job, and I'm grateful. He's clearly been waved over by Sharath, who will be watching us both. I'm glad I didn't fuck up the assisted part, for his sake.

Twice over and stand up. At least I can do that. My feet touch my head on the third one and I should be able to hold it, but I have nothing left.... over I crash. And stand up.

Chakra bandhasana with the assistant. I thank him and escape.

In the changing room: desolation. I AM NO CLOSER TO DOING THIS AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. Honestly, I can't feel any improvement. WTF. How long will I be hacking away at this? Sharath doesn't know I've been trying to do this for YEARS.... I am a Tictoc Loser!

Savasana - the body is buzzing and humming like a mad beehive. Mind is just.... resigned.

On the way out I thank the assistant again, then I wait at the door. As usual, I catch Sharath's eye and bow my head. Just as on other days I acknowledge the help, today I acknowledge the lack of help. Which is also help. He gives me a nod and a very kind smile.

Breakfast. Idlys, three of them. Talk it over with Karen, that always helps.

A short nap.... the kind where your body feels nailed to the bed. I contemplate how I can't maintain this intensity and have a job. Being like this in the office isn't an option. I can barely move. I call the Three Sisters for a massage appointment. She asks my name and I tell her. 'Susan, from Canada?' she asks. I'm stunned. At the first lunch there last week, she had asked our names and countries. Do they take notes??! Anyhow, Harini (I think?) seems like a woman who can sort shit out. I expect to be sore by Saturday, not least because I intend to SLEEP A LOT before then (long sleeps make for stiff body). Though right now I feel surprisingly not sore, just.... OUF.

I've dropped the ball in Sanskrit. I am not capable of doing the homework. Not because it's too hard -  I'm getting everything right up till now. But because I don't have the resources. I simply have nothing left today.....

Lunch at Vivian's, then pick up my mending from Krishna. Five pieces, including a torn dress turned into a top, for £3.50, roughly. Chai on the steps and idle chat. I have not done the homework and I am skipping Sanskrit again. Home for a bit, and feeling heroic for writing this, rather than lying on the bed. Soon I'll be going to a birthday party for smoothies and chocolate cake. I will try to go to bed at 7pm. It's an early start tomorrow for led.

I am exhausted.

I need to ground my hands more. Next week, I need to get more weight into my hands. I need to spend time visualising all this, in a state of deep, deep relaxation. Roots coming out of the palms of my hands, spreading deep, deep into the Earth. My body won't miraculously come up until I can press down deeply into my hands. Karen pointed out that I'm a leggy person. As in, I LOVE to walk. I cover miles and miles on foot. I'm very grounded in my legs. Arms, I am not as skilled with. Karen also asked a leading question - 'Is it mental or physical?' This morning, I'd answered physical. But it can't be. It really can't be. It is mental. Not in a 'freak-out' sense, not in a 'negativity' sense, but.... in a Paradigm Shift sense. I need to make a leap. But with my hands, haha.

(Thanks, Karen.)

I need to visualise it. I need to 'kinesthetise' it (made-up word). And I need Harini hanging from a rope, digging her heels into my oiled-up muscles.

You are in no danger of having a 'pale' experience here. Sometimes it's India that blows you away, sometimes it's your Work that blows you away. This random thing, properly called viparita chakrasana, is my work.

EVERY DAY here is intense in some way.

Mysore :heart:

Right now I am going out for chocolate cake.


Anonymous said...

Wow, intense and so well written, felt like I was there. I don't think your alone in your struggle to do tick tocks, I think many people take years? You so deserve that chocolate cake! Enjoy x

susananda said...

Thanks Helen xx

Globie said...

If you are gonna crack it anywhere its gonna be there- Mysore magic

Be a fab present to come home with. And even if you don't quite manage it in Mysore, I have no doubt that working so hard at it there will give you the physical tools and confidence that its just a matter of time until you Toc and really rock.

Wish I'd known about three sisters massage.

Anthony Grim Hall said...

Know your not soliciting advice here but for me, what made the difference, was just worrying about getting my legs back UP ( to a point of balance) rather than all the way back OVER that made the difference somehow, once up there I trusted my feet and legs would would work out the rest ( which they did of course, no disasters). Seems to make a difference focussing on UP rather than OVER. Only did it a few times and without much finesse, too noisy on my floorboards to practice in the morning so let it slide....would scare the bejesus out of me to try it again now ( can't imagine working at it in public especially there, your awesome). Good Luck with it you have all the elements of course, the strength, flexibility, bravery....stubboness ....foolhardiness : ) it's just the timing you need to nail. Of course your probably also trying too hard (ducks).

susananda said...

Hi Kev... thanks for the encouragement, but you're on the wrong post... the previous ones were for optimism, this one is for doom and gloom ;)
I don't expect to get it here. I'll just keep doing my thing...
Re 3 Sisters... it'll be the first time I've had bodywork in Mysore. I shall report back of course. Did you go to anyone? Like Kumar??

susananda said...

Hey Grimm,

I never mind advice (that would be very poor form, seeing how I love to give it, unsolicited!). It is really totally NOT about the legs for me though, or timing.... my arms just aren't working at all in this position. I get what you're saying though.... but I'm already thinking too much with my legs. There is no weight in my hands at all when I jump, duh!

In other news, I aced the Sanskrit test today ;)

susananda said...

PS I agree I have all those wonderful qualities you list ;)

Globie said...

I reckon Mysore will just give you the mental belief & that's half the battle. I never ever thought I would stand up from backbend, but doing that freaky one in Mysore changed everything even if it did take another 6 months to do it regularly.

I had massage from Joycee Lah, who I met again in Thailand this Christmas.

(0v0) said...


Anonymous said...

Harini! She's amazing and will definitely give your muscles the TLC they need. Kumar's also good but he goes deeeeep. Really deep. His sessions are at least 2 hours long.

You managed to convey the frustration of working at one's edge in the shala perfectly. Went through the same thing with my fear of dropping back. It's hard, but the beautiful part of it all is that there's a lot of love and support in the room too. Monday will be better ;)

Wayne said...

While reading your post I was thinking, "wow, Susan's effort and dedication are amazing and inspiring.

Then I read, "The whole room knows about me, because I'm 'the girl who blogs about practice and Can't Do Tictocs'. What a lame spectacle to watch from the foyer."

Needless to say, I have a different opinion...

susananda said...


Yeah, I'm not lame. I just feel lame sometimes.

Don't we all?

(that was kind of the point)


Sav addict... I love what you say about the room. That is very true.