A View from the Mat: Day five of the August Mysore-style Intensive

YOGA IS NOT A PIECE OF CAKE. (But if it was, it would be a deep rich chocolate cake with frosting and chocolate chunks)

On a Friday we practice a primary-led class. Instead of doing self-practice, the teacher calls out the postures and leads everyone through the primary series together. Prior to this, we also do the full Pranayama practice – all six parts, whilst you’re sat cross-legged or in lotus (your feet go to sleep a bit).

The friday led class reminds you that when you’re working to someone else’s count and at the same pace as everyone else in the room, it’s actually a lot harder to keep up. But, you really get a sense of the flow of the sequence. There are no opportunities for little breaks.

I’ve been sweating profusely all week, and today was no exception. I’ve taken to not washing my mat because I believe (in a slightly sceptical way) that it accumulates my energy, ‘man’. But when the Cat no longer tries to sleep on it, and indeed gives it a wide berth,  you know it’s probably time to abandon that particular hippy rule.

The best thing about Primary-led Friday is the feeling of togetherness. You’ve been through this intensive week and then you’re all working together, spurring each other on. It’s a great feeling.

I’m really feeling the love today, which is mainly because it’s my birthday and at the end of the practice everyone sang me Happy Birthday! Matt brought a cake and candles and we all had a little post-yoga chocolate cake – mmmm delicious. It was so kind and lovely; brought a tear to my eye (unless that was more sweat). Thank you everyone! 🙂

I hope everyone had a good week. It’s great to chat with other people about their practice. I got a lot out of the week, but it’s tricky to think of it in the conventional sense of progressing. I feel like I’m moving forward if my mood and attitude to my practice is non-judgemental, non-critical and accepting, because one day you feel great and your practice is wonderful and another day it’s crap. In my honest opinion, the progress is about learning to keep calm and carry on with your practice however you feel (to borrow a well-worn phrase).