The third week at KYM ended with 2 related lectures: Yoga and Mantras by Kaustub and the significance and classical steps of meditating OM by S.Sridharan and “Sir” ( how Desikachar is referred to with reverence).Who knew that chanting OM and other mantras traditionally begins with a prayer, then sipping 3 sips of water while reciting a specific mantra, than pranayama in preparation, then samkalpa or setting of intension, then nyasam – reciting the different components of the mantra while touching different parts of the body, then visualization… all this before the japam or recitation of the mantra!
This week’s theory class focussed on classical preparatory postures and counterposes. Something new for me – classically bujangasana is the counterpose of sarvangasana. Fish posture is considered too great a strain on the neck and classically all counterpostures are dynamic.
Philosophy class has involved a study of the 8 limbs of yoga with a lengthy discussion on ishwara prandihara or surrender to a higher being. In applications class we have focussed on the neck, lower back and knee injuries as well as diabetes and PMS. In chanting class we’re learning at a faster pace and getting good! Although, I don’t know if the teacher would agree.
I had a private consultation with the resident doctor/ yoga therapist at KYM. The consultation was not long – maybe 20 minutes. My health concerns were minor ( I went more for the experience). We discussed my ailments, lifestyle, diet etc, he took my pulse and then observed while I performed some simple movements both standing and lying. The doctor gave me some advice on my current daily practice as well as a short daily practice to help with digestion. A fellow student with a slipped disc reported some great relief after 4 days of her assigned practice.
That’s all to share for this week. The month is flying by. I presume that at this point I cannot even imagine the wealth of knowledge I have gathered. The lessons I am learning will take a long time to sink in and integrate. It is wonderful to share this experience with people from such different yoga backgrounds as viniyoga, iyengar, sivananada, anusara, ashtanga, scaravelli, radiant light and kundalini. I have learned so much from my new friends.