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Day 27 - Abhi -Pranayama

In years gone by when I have been here in January, the institute has always closed on the Saturday for Republic Day. On the strength of this, I booked a weekend in Goa and had already paid for my flights and accommodation when the notices went up to say that this year the institute would be closed on the Friday only. How annoying. So a bit resentfully, I headed off to the airport on Friday morning, sooooo sorry to be missing a Saturday class.  Still it’s a good chance to replenish my batteries for the coming hard slog as well as check out potential teaching venues and visit my dear friends and teachers from the UK, Gerry and Lynda.

The flight from Pune to Goa is a mere 40 minutes (and having had the nightmare bus journey from hell on a previous trip see – travel nightmare) this was my preferred option.  Jenny and I had become a bit of a team over the month so I felt a tad forlorn saying my goodbyes and heading off solo. 

I’d booked a hand luggage only fare with Spice Jet, but discovered that for just 400 rupees I could check in a great big suitcase (take note Ryanair). This meant I was able to bring my yoga kit including a bolster as well as my liquids, definitely a much better option. I arrived in Goa to a blast of warmer air and booked an air conditioned taxi in the pre-paid taxi booth – not so much that I wanted A/C but I’ve learnt from past experience that this often dictates whether you get a seat belt in a together car, or whether you take your chances in a rickety old bucket.

I arrived in Benaulim for a late breakfast with Lynda and then after hiring a bike, headed straight to the beach for a swim followed by a lovely dinner and a chance to catch up on all the news.  Benaulim still maintains it’s very traditional fishing industry and the road to the beach is lined with fish drying out in the sun. I got up for a sunrise swim in the morning and it was still a little grey as I swam out. As I turned round to head back to shore I saw the sun had just risen high enough to shine a golden path of light along the surface of the water which I swam through with a great sense of glee.

I’m staying at the lovely Palm Beach Cottages – pleasant room with balcony, excellent bathroom and kind, calm, respectful staff. Their welcome was lovely and they were very accommodating for all my needs – not least wanting my complimentary breakfast at lunch time to allow for a good morning practice. Sadly they could not control their neighbour and his unbelievably loud and obnoxious music today during my practice. I was just going up into sirsasana when it began pumping out (and if there’s one time I need peace and quiet during my practice, it’s sirasasna). On and on it went, getting steadily worse – think a combination of the Macarena and Techno and you’ll get the idea. I briefly fantasised about hanging off the edge of my balcony and yelling ‘Shut uuuuuppp!’ at the top of my lungs, eyes popping, spit flying etc. but managed to contain the urge – just. It was actually a relief when they moved to pure cheese (anything but techno) and I found myself doing Raya’s rapid eka pada sequence in sarvangasana whilst pondering the absurdity of the lyrics to ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’  and keeping perfect time to the beat. Seriously though those lyrics….

Amazingly, despite being away I have still got some great notes from Abhi’s Class (Many Thanks to Purnima and Johanna for being kind enough to send them to me). See below.

Day 27 – Abhijata Pranayama

  • Invocation and Guru Brahma in Swastikasana

  • Adho mukha virasana

  • Adho mukha svanasana

  • At the ropes wall or with rope tied to the grill — Adho mukha svanasana Heels down, Lifting the heels against the wall is for beginners!

Those in the middle not finding place at the wall or grills —Prasarita padottanasana final poseKeeping head down, swivel R to Parsvottanasana Back to centre to Prasarita padottanasana Swivel L to Parsvottanasana without lifting head and trunk Back to centre

  • Uttanasana In middle of room .Those at the ropes, stay in Ut