Not sure I see myself making it a regular occurrence, quite a palava getting there and back ( although Scott says he comes in an hour or so every day just to open up)
5:30 got up
6.15 Cycled up to the station
6:38 Maidenhead to London (40 minutes)
Change at Paddington, tube to London Bridge
Wait around for an hour before heading up to Stillpoint at 8:45, for a 9am start.
Finish at 11am
London Bridge back to Paddington
12.04 To Maidenhead (train slow/delayed was supposed to be the fast train but took an hour)
7 hour round trip.
But worth it of course, it was with Manju!
And Stillpoint have this nice floor to practice on, good to be able to jump to the side between standing postures ( don't dare on my floorboards). Turns out I practiced next to a fellow blogger too ( who had the slickest chakrasana btw, every time I came back to chaturanga after chakrasana she was there already) . Good to meet Scott, Digby, Ben (who doesn't Michelle, Ashtanga Angel, know in London, thought she was a Coventry girl). Also good to meet Mikewho comments here occasionally ( thank you again Mike for the rice bowls. I love the design, M. does too but was particularly struck by the lightness ( and pointed out she comes from a country who knows a thing or two about rice bowls). She wouldn't let me eat last night's Kimchi fried rice out of them though, seems it's not the done thing - food snob).
So, worth the trip but I can't imagine doing it every Sunday, although I know some do (Respect). Once a month perhaps.... I've over dramatised the travel for the post, it was painless really, read the paper coming back, listened to Manju's Shanti Mantras going in ( which we of course we chanted at the end of practice).
|Stillpoint Yoga, nice floor|
Noah, Scott's son was doing the checking in on an iPad, put down my mat, a few hello's... Manju heads up the to the frount, relaxed as ever and we were off.
Felt a bit of an old hand after Manju's led in Crete, knew a little of what to expect ( that long count in utthita hasata padangusthasana sequence for instance - you can see Manju counting it out, so no chance of one part being a little shorter- groan). Some things were a little tougher, some a little easier, same with everybody's Led I imagine.
One thing was curios, I struggled to get into suptu kurmasana. I've been going up into via dwipada sirsasana for so long that I;ve pretty much forgotten the foot shuffle in from the mat and am having to relearn it. Manju discourages the Legs behind head version, see my transcriptions from the Crete TT for why.
Best of all was at the end of the practice, Manju skips utpluthi/tolasana and goes straight into pranayama, some nadi shodana with and without kumbhaka also sitali and then the chanting. I missed Niko from Crete and his nice, big, booming, confident chant that I could hide behind a little or follow along with in those lines I wasn't sure of. It was quieter here and we had no hand-out of the chants to help either, instead we had to listen carefully to Manju as he would break the chants down into phrases. Some parts went better than others of course, Manju is so relaxed that you feel relaxed too, your going to get some bits wrong, it gets better as you tune in. I need/want to work more on those later chants on his Shanti mantra CD though, first few I'm Ok on.
And that was that, Savasana a few more hello's, Louise had laid on some big dishes of fruit and nuts, nice touch ( thank you Louise), incredible figs btw, Noah came around with one of these dishes that looked as if it weighed as much as he did. I saw Noah through my legs in downward dog in a moment of wayward drishti. he was practicing next to his Dad for a while, nice to see that.
|Noah was wandering around taking photo's- 10 points for spotting which one is me....and another 10 for who I'm practicing next to.|
Here's a taste of Manju's led at Stillpoint from last year ( Scott just mentioned he'll be coming back next year too).
That's followed by a short documentary about Stillpoint Yoga.
Thanks again to Scott, Louise and Noah for hosting and to Manju of course for coming to the UK.
Manju is heading off to Brighton for short workshop (14th/15th Sept, there might still be some places. Here are the details, scroll to the bottom of the page
and here's a link to Manju's diary