My father ( aka GK / the Gipsy King ) was rushed to the emergency room early Tuesday AM for a recurrence of pancreatic pains. Since then , I have been in constant contact with my mother via SMS / text and email. A family friend who had just arrived in LA with presents from my folks was taken aback by this news as she had just had lunch with them in Makati the previous Sunday.
I have been communicating the benefits of a dedicated yoga practice to my parents for several years . Our family is no stranger to yoga, as my grandmother, ever the trend leader, had us attending yoga classes in her lanai conducted by Manolo Rosado, when we were just kids. The biggest influence on my Mom currently is the book " The Law of Attraction : The Secret". It has been helping her immensely to deal with my father's current situation in a positive manner.
So, my intentions during practice this week have shifted towards my parent's well-being. With this in mind, I needed to cap Friday evening with either class or kirtan. Vytas B. was subbing for Ashley Turner 's 6 PM class , and it turned out to be quite the journey.
Dermot , a classmate & kirtan walla , started the evening off with a distinct Celtic inflected rendition of the bhajan, " Hey Ma Durga " . Durga is known as the mother of the universe , the slayer of the ego. Another maternal reminder -
The theme of the evening's class was long & deep holds , an average of 2 minutes per asana. The linked floor series went from janu sirsasana, dandasana, paschimotasana, upavistha / supta badha konasana , and every guy's favorite hip opener , dwi pada rajakapotasana aka double pigeon or Patanjali's revenge.The sensations these asanas generated coupled with the emphasis on the duration of exhalations & inhalations created a powerful " eye-of-the-storm " focus in the studio.
It was also great to hang-out after the intense session with a couple of fellow practitioners & travellers.
Simon, a photographer based in Rio de Janeiro , had an interesting take on the experience. As a self-described " Type A " personality, having to stay still for minutes and just OBSERVE was a welcome change from strenuous vinyasas.
Vytas B's special friend, Ivana M., could not be further from the character she played , Valenka, in Casino Royale. She is a soulful yogini who has been to quite a number of countries on location shoots. We share a fondness for the Manila Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This class was such a gift -