So Sick

I haven’t practiced since the Sunday full vinyasa Mysore practice with Darby. I took a rest day on Monday to give my troubled left shoulder a break (and as I feel it now, it appears to have recovered). After a welcome Moonday on Tuesday however, the flu I started to feel last week somehow came back and whacked me hard; it’s knocked the stuffing out of me. For the first time in years, I even called in sick because I couldn’t even work from home.

The problem is that everyone in the house is down. And anyone with kids knows that it’s hard to get well when you’re up all night trying to comfort a poorly 5 month-old. So it all just gets stretched out.

What bugs me is that I can get sick at all since I take pretty good care of myself. All I eat is sweat potato, broccoli, oranges, kiwi fruit, peas, apples, beans, etc etc (you get the idea) and all I drink is black or green tea and tons of water. So what gives? Is it work? Is it stress manifesting itself as ailment? Probably I’m just not getting adequate sleep. I guess it doesn’t really matter what you do – if it’s going around sooner or later you’re bound to get it.

I’m looking forward to getting back onto the mat. I might try a practice tomorrow if I feel half decent. The weekend workshops recharged my enthusiasm for asanas. I’ve added a couple of things to my reading list – Iyengar’s Light on Yoga and Light on Life. I’ve really enjoyed Iyengar’s take on Patanjali. Darby’s introduction to Yoga came through Light on Yoga and he said the only reason he never ended up in Pune practicing with Iyengar was that he didn’t have a lot of money and didn’t think he could afford a teacher who’d actually written a book – so he settled for Jois! Of course, now he reveres Guruji; I asked him about the other ‘Ashtanga’ teachers in Mysore – Venkatesh and Sheshadri. He’s heard of them of course, but said he’d never go to them out of respect for Guruji.

I’ve always been open-minded about my asanas (perhaps because I didn’t start out with Ashtanga but rather Sivananda Hatha, and really saw and appreciated its benefits. I don’t think of Ashtanga as the only correct system of asanasa or even the best. It’s what I’ve settled on as appropriate and agreeable to me for where I am in my practice right now. But I’m open-minded enough to explore other approaches such as Sivananda and Iyengar. Especially with respect to the other limbs since Guruji’s a bit sparse on these (in Yoga Mala) and I’ve not come across anybody who writes about ‘greater yoga’ as beautifully as Iyengar. India should adopt that marvellous Japanese tradition of declaring individuals as ‘Living National Treasures’ – Iyengar and Guruji qualify.

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