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October 3rd - Women's Class Geetaji

Headed off to the 9.30am Women's Class after very little sleep again and feeling very emotional. The hall was busier than we have seen it this trip, but much quieter than my normal January slot, so no problems getting a mat and somewhere to sit. Abhi got us settled and went through the beginning of the month protocols - advice on personal safety etc. We chanted the invocation together and Geeta launched straight in with a whole string of poses coiling the upper spine in and coming onto the crown of the head like paryankasana / matsyasana. This was a build up to supta vajrasana - sitting in baddha padmasana and coiling back onto the crown of the head. This is a fiendishly difficult pose that very few could do. Afterwards she acknowledged it was an advanced pose and said "Ah but how many of you are in pain now? didn't you all forget this pain and that pain or worry that you came in with?" and we all laughed because it was indeed true. Emotional? moi?

The class continued to be engaging and challenging throughout, finishing with an exhilarating sequence of swinging between eka pada setubandha and eka pada sarvangasana, repeatedly moving from one to the other. Full notes are below, bearing in mind that there was no note taker, so could easily have forgotten bits and got sequence jumbled.

We went home for fruit and curd on the terrace with Wendy and note taking on the morning's class, as usual marvelling at the salient points that felt as though they were just for us personally. We had worked extensively on how to create freedom in the spine to move forward, without using props - Geeta said once she gave one person a bolster, then another and another will come forward needing something. So even a gentleman recovering from a broken spine last year was able to work in this manner. It was a strong class and as I sit here typing up the notes, boy can I feel my back ribs!

October – 3rd Geetaji Women’s Class

  • We launched straight in with a series of seated poses coiling back onto the crown of the head like paryankasana / matsyasana. The instructions were the same each time, whatever the seated pose was. Come back onto the elbows, forearms on the floor. Grasp the edges of the sticky mat and coil the back spine deep inward to come onto the crown of the head. Eyes looking down and over at the mat above your head (do not look here and there). Re-lift the head, raise the sternum chest further upward and take trapezius away from neck, shoulder blades deep into upper back to bring the head further in. When we sat up she asked to come up without oscillating from side to side. Can you come up with evenness? And if you can’t come up with evenness, at least alternate the side that you press down with to lift up. We also often did the seated pose pressing the hands into the floor and coiling the spine in to look at the ceiling. Clavicles wide and back ribs deep in to raise the frontal chest upward. In the seated pose pressing the hands down and lifting the buttocks slightly off the floor (not tolasana) just enough to be able to press the legs fully down, creating a lightness and internal lift and maintaining that as you lower the buttock to the floor.

  • Dandasana – Coiling Back

  • Swastikasana – Coiling Back

  • Half padmasana – Coiling back

  • Padmasana – Coiling back