On Saturday I had treatment on these and called Hamish at Ashtanga yoga London to see if he recommended that I still attend the week long workshop with Sharath. He suggested coming as the yoga would "help with the healing". I expressed my concerns at having to modify my practice and that - having never practiced yoga with Sharath before - he might go too hard on me. I couldn't have been more wrong!
Sharath took me under his wing (along with many other students) and gently assisted me into my backbends. A light gentle touch which conveyed "I'm here, it's okay", softly encouraging me on the way.
By day two or three I was up on my own and he quietly said "very good". By Thursday I was feeling much stronger and finding my flow in the practice. Once again a word of encouragement at the end of the yoga session: "practice really improving".
Friday's practice was fun and fast, and it was lovely to be along side some of the twitter shala and share the energy of those who had been doing the second series all week.
Sharath is now the guru in Mysore, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. I don't think this can be an easy path; transitions are often difficult and change is not always welcome. I suppose this leads me to say why I was apprehensive about attending with my injuries. I had heard stories about the count, the pace and the discipline, which left me with preconceived ideas about the new guru. What I found was a gentle unassuming man, who was able to scan the room of 150 + people and see who needed his attention. He was humble, gentle and without frills.
I feel very privileged to have been able to spend a week with Sharath and to share the experience with so many others. It is amazing as a Londoner to be in a room full of strangers (mostly) and feel like you are part of a community; breathing, sweating and chanting together and then going off into the city and doing your best to live yoga. As Sharath said in his parting words " London needs yoga".
A big thank you to Astanga yoga London for organising this event and to Hamish for the wise words of wisdom that enabled me to embark on this adventure: "the yoga will be healing".
Tired but happy.