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Day 15 Rajalaxmi Twists

Sleep quality deteriorating as we have cats that live on the tin roof just outside my window and I think they may be possessed – the noise they make in the night is like nothing I have ever heard before. It’s more human than cat - genuinely, how can something so small, make such an unbelievably big and intensely disturbing sound?

Jenny managed to get a second video of the chiildren’s classes yesterday and this time they were learning how to fall safely out of sirsasana . They had to turn the hands away (this undid the interlock), tuck the head under and forward roll. Looked like fun but haven’t tried it yet.

In the evening we headed over to our favourite restaurant Shabree, on the super-busy FC Road. There's no menu as such, you are given a large thali dish and a never ending succession of waiters come to offer different breads, chapatis, poppadoms and fill the little dishes with various sweet and savoury delights. Each seems to take it as a personal affront if you wave away the dish he is offering and it's very easy to eat far more than you intend.

Sunday night is a major night out in Pune and the streets were thronging with both families and groups of young people out to eat, meet and shop. In amongst the fine folk there were some much less fortunate people gathered to sell balloons or just to beg. Most disturbingly we saw three tiny children slumped in a heap on top of each other, covered in dust and grub, flat out fast asleep on the pavement, oblivious to the surrounding crowds.

Rajalaxmi’s class this evening focussed on seated and inverted twists and for once there were no comedy errors to amuse you with. Nice class – long holds in the parsva sirsasana and for the first time this trip, I really found myself heating up in sirsasana so that I got that upside- down sweat trickle that is unique to Pune for me.

After class I was chatting to Barbara from Ottawa and as we said our goodbyes, she said “See you tomorrow at Geeta” to which I replied “Yeah right, I wish!!” only it turned out she was deadly serious – Geetaji is teaching a special workshop for the Russian intensive that’s taking place this week and we’re all invited. How totally brilliant is that??? Slightly horrified at how easily we could have missed it, apparently it was announced in practice session this morning and no one thought to tell the people who weren’t there.

Monday 15th Jan Rajalaxmi Twists

X legs bend forwards – reduce the hump on your back by lifting up the eyes to eye level and reaching the front body more forwards, hands wider apart x 2 each side

X legs twist x 3 each side – Lift and spread pectorals. The shoulder blade has to move away from the spine and towards the elbow, the back body has to spread. She demonstrated on a student with a scraping motion, scraping the flesh and blade away from the spine towards the sides of the body – “This flesh has to move" Bending the elbow to assist this action.

Virasana feet apart bending forwards

Virasana twist – same actions as for x legs twist. What is the point catching the heel if the chest hasn’t turned?

AMS move back chest to the front chest, elbows resisting upward. Open the back of the knee inner and outer. Walk hands back to…

Uttanasana concave back to utt head down

• Walk palms forward to AMS bring feet together AMS leg raises lift the leg from the shoulder blade.


Prasarita Paddottonasana – inner ankles have to lift up and maintain their height, pressurise the outer foot. CCB and head down. Take each foot 1 inch wider and see how that creates space.

Sirsasana - Parsva Sirsasana - Virasana in sirsasana - Parsva Virasana - Parsva Sirsasana push mid buttock forward and take knees back, turn pelvic rim and then from there raise the legs up straight.

• Repeat Parsva Sirsasana at wall, knuckles touching the wall. Turn so that the hip is against the wall. Waiting group Bharadvajasana 1.

Bharadvajasana 1 x 2 each side(legs left turn right) blanket under right buttock only so that left thigh can descend do NOT sit on the swastikasana heel. Knees together (unless there is some problem there), open the clavicles well. Turn the flesh of the thighs – the right buttock flesh has to spread to the right side, the left inner thigh has to roll in – so swastikasana leg has to roll outside in and virasana leg inside out.

Bharadvajasana 2 No Blanket needed as padmasana foot makes the virasana thigh descend. Throw the arm around (try leaning forward to throw the arm). To sit properly you have to contain the outer thighs.

Swastikasana to half padmasana – inner ankle should not sink in. Two points to remedy this 1) The foot needs to come up onto the thigh, not drop down into the gap. Keeping the knee down, take hold of the foot and several times swing the foot in and out so that you get the movement there in the hip, then just place the foot up on the thigh. If restriction of movement is there and the foot can’t reach up onto the thigh, put the rolled blanket underneath the ankle to keep it from dropping down. 2)Take your fingers on the underside of the foot, just outside the ankle bone and support that area as you swing the foot in, so that it can’t sag downward and you maintain the lift and openness of the upper ankle.

• Repeat half padmasana and then into full padmasana.

Marichyasana 3 – It is important to take sufficient height. Here she demonstrated on a male student to show how his lower outer flank was dropping down and preventing him from getting the turn. She sat him up on a bolster and folded blanket – as much height as he needed to get the lift in that area. On second repeat, catching where possible.

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 sitting on left foot, turning to right. Left buttock sitting on left heel and right buttock sitting on big toe mound. Don’t take the marichyasana toes so much back, let them come forwards a little and stamp into the big toe mound. Beginners don’t cross the foot over at all.

Sarvangasana - Parsva Sarvangasana – Virasana in Sarvangasana – Parsva Virasana in Sarvangasana – Parsva Sarvangasana Throw the legs back and the buttocks forward as if you were in chair sarvangasana and the seat of the chair was preventing the buttocks from dropping backward.

• Bent leg savasana