Chairs and chutney

I’m working on a new personal project (more details to come soon!) for which I was invited to a meeting with Poonam, the owner of Sanapurna. She also had me over as her guest for the Monday evening hatha class, which for me was a fantastic start into the week and a welcome reminder to focus on what matters during a busy work week.

Her class was special, as all are. Yet this one was probably more entertaining and witty than usual – or maybe I was just easily amused that evening, you can be the judge of that. I’d say our sequence was rather atypical, with static deep stretches to start, powerful poses in the second half and sun salutations an hour into the class. Nonetheless, the class was very cohesive and just right for a Monday evening: strong but patient.

Poonam alluded a few times at something I’d heard in one of my first yoga classes: we often already think of the next pose, instead of enjoying the one we are in. We were encouraged, with light humour, to stop fantasising about what’s next, and live in the now.

Speaking of fantasies, I really liked Poonam’s theory on utkatasana, the chair pose: it’s yoga teachers’ projection of their own desire for a chair (a real one :)). Because yoga teachers can’t just sit at work, but really wish they could, they instruct their students to do the pose as compensation. Sounds a bit weird, but not completely illogical, right?

For deep and challenging poses, there was another great analogy in store. Poonam told us how Indian chutney is made: a mix of leaves, herbs, fruit, all mashed together. Back in the day, the ingredients were smashed to bits with a stone, nowadays blended in a mixer – either way, the output is mouth-watering.

That is also how yoga practice is: a mix of feelings – both pleasure and pain – with a delicious end result 😉

That’s exactly why I love yoga and why I enjoy going to class here: all your senses get nurtured. Your body is challenged and rewarded, your mind is awakened, your perception is heightened. And you get all these nice food analogies as inspiration: sometimes it’s ice cream, other times it’s chutney – either way, super tasty! ♥

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