First Led Class – Day Five

by Joanna D.

I get to the Shala nearly fourty-five minutes early so I can be sure to get a spot in the main room. (vs – the changing room or entry way, which happens.) There are at least ten people there already waiting. I sit. The steps fill up quickly. More and more people file into the waiting area just outside the Shala door… we wait. I can hear Sharath counting, “one… two… three…” We wait.

People start to chatter. I get a little anxious as I am more and more surrounded. Am I going to have to shove my way into the door? How close will our mats be? Am I supposed to stop at Supta Kurmasana? (Yes.) Then it comes, resonating through the walls; OM – echoing from inside.

I was stunned at the sheer magnitude of the sound! And in that instant everyone around me stood up, like geysers shooting out of the ground. Soon everyone is pressing up on each other. Squeezing to get in the door – pouring through one at a time. We probably looked like ants escaping a water-doused anthill. Everyone finds a place. We stand at the head of our mats. OM.

Again – the intensity of the vibration, sent chills through my limbs. We begin… “Ekam… Dve…” In unison we move through the Primary Series. One breath. People begin to stop at their respective places/various posses. I, at Supta Kurmasana, sit and breathe. Closing my eyes I listen to the rhythm. Counting… movement… breathing. Often getting lost in my thoughts, trying to break through the wall. Emotions pour through the cracks. Focus – breathe.

Soon Sharath is standing in front of me, “Urdhva Dhanurasana, you do. OK?” Perhaps he saw I was a bit lost inside. “OK.” I do my backbends. Focus. I move through closing and find myself once again standing in Samastithi. Focusbreathe. Closing mantra. Savasana. Since it was the last led class of the day I was able to lay there for a time. Waiting for others to get up and get their stuff together. The first led class in Mysore. Check.

It will never cease to amaze me how this practice can tear one apart in such an intense way and somehow emanate such glorious beauty. Om namah Shivaya.