Wow, 5 days into the intensive and I know I am not alone in feeling it - body a touch on the achy side, shoulders in particular (although that could be lugging heavy bags through London), and an overwhelming sense of tiredness at the amount of information we are absorbing each day.

The course has been great in terms of learning additional adjustment skills to the poses in the Ashtanga primary series, but I have to admit, while I will forever be indebted to the teachings and teachers of Ashtanga for initially enticing me into Yoga, I am struggling with its current intensity. Still I am sure I will soon come through the other side and will incorporate various aspects of the sequence into my daily practice again.

As abreak from the asana aspect of this week, Charles invited me to his weekly meditation class in Richmond which is led by this wonderful lady from Hong Kong who is a Tibetan Buddhist. It was all about anger and attachment, very fascinating. She made the point that we always ask other people if a partner makes us happy, but we rarely ask if we make the other person happy...and that really, happiness must come from within anyway (obviously) and so we shouldn't necessarily be looking to another to make us happy, only to increase (perhaps) our degree of happiness...

It was fascinating stuff and so in contrast to my Ashtanga experience that day, reminding me of Nepal and the emphasis of living with clear intention from the heart and compassion and patience. Furthermore I was reminded of the joy of meditating to make the mind stronger and help to transform our experience of the world as a consequence, of loving and trying to make others happy, from a place of unconditional love without expectation of return. Oh and being mindful in action and thought.

Hmm. So all in all a lovely reminder of knowing when to let go, non-action, of living in the here and now and just being present (as we are, human beings that is, opposed to doings).

Namaste

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