Day 29 - Gulnaz Restorative

My last morning in Goa and I was awoken once again pre-dawn by someone cycling down the street honking their horn loudly and continuously (same every morning). I’m told he is delivering bread and milk – but honestly, if someone behaved that anti-socially back home they have an ASBO or something. Can’t I decide for myself when it’s the right time to wake up?? How does one person get the right to decide that everyone else in the town should be getting up? Grrrh – I’ve given up on sleeping, will have to save that idea for when I get back to UK. Still there’s nothing like a dip in the ocean to wash away early morning grumpiness. I cycled down to the beach to discover that the usual morning calm had given way to rather huge waves – the sea still had that early morning smooth ripple-free surface but with near-perfect surfing type waves. I was a small bit afraid to get in, but found a spot that looked safe enough and went for it. I cycled home with a smile on my face and just enough time for a short practice and breakfast before the car came to collect me for the airport.

The landscape around Benaulim is interesting – large swamps covered in Lotus Flowers and lots of wading birds strutting around fishing, mixed with coconut palms and bright green rice paddies. I decided to eat some lunch at the airport as it would be too close to evening class by the time I got back to Pune. There is a super busy Indian eaterie there and you have to queue for a seat. I wasn’t 100% sure I had enough time to order, eat and pay for my flight, so once I got my seat I left again and then changed my mind and went back. In the interim an Indian girl and her young son had taken the seat and tried to insist on giving it back. We had a terribly polite battle over it until I suggested we share. And there followed one of those lovely, random meetings. We shared food and chatted away until a Spice Jet representative came in to check whether there was anyone in there for my flight and hauled me out!

Once I was back in Pune I saw an Uber booth without a queue and thought I’d give it a go. I’d paid 900 rupees for the trip from Model Colony to the airport and the reverse trip with Uber cost me 180! The driver was also using Google Maps so there wasn’t the usual difficulty about finding places and it was kind of funny hearing the plummy British accent attempt to get her tongue very precisely around the indian names “Take the first exit at Abhyamtriki Mahavidyalaya Chowk!”

I whizzed into the apartment, filed my self assessment tax return and whizzed out again to the institute. Annie and I had the great pleasure of interviewing Abhi there for a magazine article that Annie is writing. I’m mindful of the fact that I haven’t had explicit permission to write anything here so I won’t give you the details, but suffice to say that Abhi was as interesting, eloquent and humble as she always is, with a good bit of self-deprecating humour thrown in.

Gulnaz taught a restorative sequence this evening and made it very straightforward, so not much teaching for me to comment on, sequence below. I’ve now got a crazy couple of days of rushing around to get everything done ready for departure on Wednesday afternoon.

Gulnaz – Restorative

  • AMVirasana

  • AMSvanasana

  • Uttanasana

  • AMSvanasanaParsvott RL keep head down into – Prasarita Paddottonasana – Parsvott LL into – Prasarita Paddottonasana

  • Full uttanasasna

  • Sirsasana

  • AMVrksasana – Rapidly 5 times right leg – 5 times left leg – 1 x both legs

  • Pinca Mayurasana - Alternate legs, rapidly x 5

  • Chair back arch – She was very clear that we had to start with buttocks hanging completely over the back edge of the chair and neck and shoulders on the front edge of the chair, legs bent. From that position only, scraping and scrubbing off the front edge of the chair so that the top chest opened and the armpit area free. Only far enough off that the arms could catch underneath without the shoulders getting squashed up. Do not come further off and just hang there. Catch the back legs of the chair, extend legs straight - fairly short stays x 2.

  • Repeat chair back arch – same method but this time, arms folded and lengthen the upper arms, so that the folded elbows come closer to the floor – they should touch the floor without you cheating and sliding further off the chair. Arms extended so that from the pelvis to the arms extending towards the platform and from the pelvis to the legs extending towards the balcony side.

  • Here we split into groups so that one group did fairly long stay in Rope Sirsasana while the others continued with chair back arch.

  • Chair back arch – three folded blanket under centre spine.

  • Chair back arch – Come further off and take whole palm to floor like urdhva dhanurasana. Then lift up and down urdhva dhanurasana in the chair x 5

  • Chair Bharadvajasana

  • Urdhva Dhanurasana x 5

  • Chair Kurmasana - sit on front seat of chair and reach between your legs to catch back legs of chair. It was a long way through and she talked about how this was really lengthening the arms X 2

  • Chair Sarvangasana – Straight legs and baddha konasana legs.

  • Supta Virasana

  • Supta Baddha Konasana

  • Savasana 2 on bolster

  • Here she gave her local students a telling off for being fidgety in savasana. Savasana translates to corpse pose. We know when we see a dead body how the face is so very peaceful. We should learn to find the absolute peace in our savasana.

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