I was a nervous wreck! I pride myself on not being one of those people…you know the ones that are constantly trying to talk to famous people or be very showy and always saying “look at me” They are in all walks of life and that is just not my style. I really like to be able slip in unnoticed and find a place in the back and study the scene until I have some sense of what it is all about. Only then I will start to insert myself into things. So I was nervous about practicing with Sharat. I had heard so many things about what practice would be like and I just didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t sleep so well last night because we are still working on our jet lag and I woke up at 4:09 a.m. with a ton of nervous energy. I knew that the alarm would be going off at 4:30 am. anyway so that I could make my 5:30 a.m. start shala time (the shala, unlike everything else in India, runs about 20 minutes ahead so it was more like 5:10 a.m. start time). Alex and Walter awoke shortly thereafter so we got dressed and headed out for the shala. I got more and more nervous on the walk there with all my thoughts swirling around in my head.
We got there and Alex and Walter walked in with for moral support. I noticed right away that the energy in that foyer was electric and extremely intimidating all at the same time. I knew that we all waited until Sharat called out “one more,” but I also knew that as a parent whose spouse was also practicing I got to go to the front of the line somehow. But as Sharat called out “one more” a couple of times, people squeezed in towards that door and seemed almost menacing. My put myself outtheredness was pretty low at the moment so I didn’t feel like pushing through that circle even though I thought I could. I finally broke down and asked someone what usually happened with parents. It turned out they were newbies too and didn’t really know. Finally, after my hemming and hawing for a bit, Kino MacGregor finally said to me, “Just go.” With all the hoopla around her lately it seemed rather funny that it was her that said it. So I did. I went to the changing room left my stuff and came back out, but I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t see any open spots so I just stood there. In a few minutes, Sharat said to me, “you wait.” So I went back the foyer and stood there like an idiot until I finally got “one more.” I was shaking at this point and almost to the point of crying, but I kept telling myself just to start my practice and all would be fine. So I raised my arms up and dived into the first sun salutation. The physicality of the practice and sweat running down my body was a welcome relief to the emotionalness of the whole morning. It took me most of my practice to calm myself down. On the flip side, the warmness of the room really does make your practice so much more fluid and bendy. It felt really good. By the time, I reached Marichyasana D, I was begining to think that I might actually make it get through to badakonasa before I got stopped. However, my teacher Anne was right. As I started to reach around to attempt a bind looking thing, I looked to the front of the room where Sharat was and he said, “you stop here and do backbends.” I nodded and he replied, “I will come help with other side.” So he did and I actually bound in Marichyasana D on the second side for the first time ever! So goods and bads.
I thought that my big problems with going to my first practice was going to be worrying about whether I was thin enough or whether or not I was going far enough in my practice, but it turned out that the single things of trying to get in to practice completely unwound me. It got to me with a viciousness that I wasn’t prepared for. The upside was a really good practice because I had so much nervous energy to burn and it was so nice and warm in the shala. Backbends were happy things and my binds were easier. That coconut afterwards was absolutely delicious though!