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October 4th - Raya

Got stuck in to a full on practice session this morning working on the Senior 1 poses and finally completed our registration for the month's classes at the RIMYI office. Blessedly a little cooler today, but still wet with sweat at the slightest exertion. In the afternoon we ran a mini class on the outside terrace to practice our teaching with timings and linking poses as we will have to do for our upcoming assessment - a full on day's work, so as we were leaving for evening class we were already fatigued. I had vaguely thought it was Gulnaz on a Thursday but when I went into the small changing area an older local lady informed me that it was Raya. Gulp. And he didn't disappoint! We started with leg raises in AMSvanasana and Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana holding for as long as humanly possible with complete suction on the kneecap. We had to stay and stay and stay and then stay some more, just holding there watching the sweat roll down my nose and drip on the floor. When we finally were allowed to come down, it was only to go straight up again in the next variation on the same side leg. It was a pretty gruelling class and he directed a lot of the teaching towards pancreatic work for Diabetes as I have worked with him previously in medical and he spotted me in the class, though he'd forgotten my name, so it was "Hey black t-shirt, take proper distance!" "Hey black t-shirt keep the back heel pressed down!" etc etc. I managed to stick with it until the bitter end (an improvement on Feb, but then it is only first class of the month, it may get harder still). At the end of the class, I comedy staggered into the ladies to be greeted by my friend from earlier looking calm and unruffled in comparison to my sweaty and exhausted demeanour. She looked me up and down and said "Hard work, but good work!" I came out and drank 2 coconuts and 2 cups of tea straight down and am looking forward to a deep sleep tonight. Thanks to Lydia and Wendy for note sharing.

October 4th – Raya

  • Sit in Padmasana, hold the knees to suction the back body to the front body and circularly roll the back armpits forward, frontal armpits upward. Invocation in padmasana

  • AMS Suck knees back

  • Eka Pada AMS Take correct distance (not too close) Suck the kneecap deep into the leg, descend the heel to suck the knee and thigh up. Do not disturb the line of the pelvis – if the rod was placed over the buttocks, it should be parallel to the floor, not one side lifted. Down leg straight, kneecap tight GRIP the thigh, lift it up and push back.

  • Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana Sucking the kneecap extraordinarily deep into the leg and stay, stay, stay – maintain for as long as possible, the competition is with yourself. Stay according to capacity, do not come down until you absolutely, really, truly have to – and when you do come down Eka Pada AMS on same side leg, same instructions as previous.

  • Utt feet together whole palm on the floor and walk hands further and further back. Root the heel of the hand into the floor, learn to fully press there, screw palm into floor until the heel of the hand bears more weight than the heels of the feet. Screw! Root! Press! Abdomen squeezed into the thigh. Deflate the abdomen, learn to be soft there.

  • Vira 3 CCB (concave back) fingertips on the floor extend the trunk forward, chin up, eyes up, lengthen forward. Harden the knee, descend the heel, lift the thigh, kneecap tight – hold parallel to the floor. Let your leg shout at you, let your spine shout at you and see how this works the kidneys and pancreas. If you are diabetic this will affect you.

  • Eka Pada AMS Knee needs to be hard, lengthen ankle joint. Feel the quadriceps. Jump to Uttanasana.

  • AMVrksasana Jump up with legs straight. Join the legs, join the ankle bones, raise the ankle bones higher, scrub the heels up the wall. Straight legs to come down.

  • Ardha Sirsasana We worked for an incredibly long time here. Walking in and taking hips higher and higher. Then we had to descend the heels towards the floor, at least perpendicular to the floor but keep the height of the hips (and spine). See how this works on the outer knee ligament, how it has to stretch, tear the back of the knee skin. If you don’t lift the tops of the thighs here, the legs become dead (over 50’s were told they could have the feet hip distance apart). Very long and arduous stay here and then when we finally came down, he said “Change the interlock and go up again” and took a crack at how long he could estimate we would take over changing the interlock. Walk in more and more, Take heels down , legs like AMS, open outer knees, sharpen the buttock bones. Loong stay. Left heel down and raise the leg vertically up to eka pada sirsasana with the heel on the floor this is horribly difficult. Then he allowed us to lift the heel and be on the tiptoe and feel how wonderfully nice this is (it was). “Lift the heel, go to Mahabaleshwar, it’s a nice place to go!” Suck the kneecap.

  • Parsva Ardha Sirsasana We repeated 1st interlock ardha sirsasana and then walk legs around to the right side, keep going and going until they are in line with the elbow. When walking to the right side, raise the outer heel and outer hip and grip in the outer ankle to grip in the outer hip. Then raise the left leg straight up, so that you are in parsva eka pada sirsasana. We repeated all this work on the left side and then he said each of u