This teacher, who we shall call "S," is great! She's a sweet, kind, mature woman who takes no guff and doesn't let me get away with anything. She's the first of the three Mysore teachers to catch me skipping Marichyasana D and make me go back to do it. She binds me in any poses I can't bind myself, then tells me, "you don't need me for that." She stopped me yesterday after Bhujapidasana to explain that I could be jumping into Bhuja and Kurmasana. Now, I know jumping is an option, but frankly, I haven't bothered trying because I've always felt like I've got enough on my hands with the Primary series, but I appreciated the push so said I'd try it. And voila! No problem. S's no nonsense approach seems to really work for me. Her demeanor says: I know you can do it, so do it. And I do. Simple as that.
Yesterday, S helped me get my arms through my legs in Garbha Pindasana for the first time. She sat at the top of my mat and explained to me in her loving tone how to "slide the arms through the holes" by squeegeeing the sweat from the rest of my body to use as lube.
I stared at her in disbelief, thinking, "that's kind of gross," and also, "what holes?" But she sprayed my thighs with water and I smushed my hands through the invisible lotus holes as she tugged from the other side. The sensation was strange, and I was completely astonished that both forearms fit between the thigh and calf -- the Primary surprises are never-ending. S had me clasp my hands and press them into the floor rather than attempt to bring the hands to cheeks because I think we both knew that those elbows weren't going to bend, but still, it was a great success.
S has also been assisting me with standing up from the backbends. She seems to think I can do it, and sort of "tricks" me into standing up on my own by giving me the tiniest of assists, and then retreating quickly, leaving me to either fall back on my head or stand. And I stand. It's pretty exhilarating, and I'm almost able to do it on my own... I just can't quite get that initial shift of weight. Soon, very soon.
And just now, as I write this post, I'm on a spontaneous foray of yoga spending. I just signed up for two weeks of Mysore and Pranayama practice with David Swenson in June! That's in addition to the teacher training I'll be doing with him in October. Skirts to the wind, I say. I'm diving into Ashtanga, ala Swenson.