Sunday 16/10/16 Gulnaz, Sagarmatha and her Vegan Conquerer

What a day it has been
What a rare mood I'm in...

Arm Balances at Atmanjali Studio:

Adho Mukha Svanasana
Repeat: Emphasis was to lift towards the apex of the pose, so though both poses are head down Adho Mukha Svanasana should be done as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana in terms of lift and Uttanasana the front ribs to the thighs and the back ribs spreading
Repeat both poses; the second time in Adho Mukha Svanasana, draw the thighs up as the chest moves closer to the thighs and in Uttanasana, hold the ankles; Gulphasana, and pull the side ribs down

Bhuja = Arm
We worked towards Dwi Hasta Bhujasana, First Gulnaz wanted us to bring our whole arm behind the thigh; so…
Prasarita Padottanasana
-    Arms up; Urdhva Hastasana
-    Swing the body down and plunge the arms between the legs and straight back
-    Repeat this swinging action
Feet closer – slightly wider than hip-width
-    Repeat above action arms out side the legs first
-    Repeat the action with the arms inside the legs

Work the leg and thigh over the arm and shoulder; first on the right side then on the left.
-    Use the opposite hand to manouver the leg over the shoulder
-    Keeping both feet on the floor
-    Release and do the other side
-    Repeat several times
Dwi Hasta Bhujasana – working the right side first
-    Work the arm behind the leg, the leg over the arm and shoulder as above
-    Walk the feet closer together and bring the other leg over the shoulder
-    With the buttocks high, take the hands back as far as possible
-    Bring the palms down as the buttocks move down
-    Keep the feet away from the hands
-    Resist the sit bones higher, so that you don’t just sit down on the floor
-    As the resistance at the sit-bones occurs, lift the feet; if not both, one at a time
-    Move the front ribs up and engage the abdomen toward the spine
The upper back must round or the pose is not complete. The palms must stay down, the elbows straighten.
This was repeated a few times. The feet had to stay forward until they lifted from the floor. Palms absolutely down and the back absolutely rounded, convex. 
Same, swinging Uttanasana; forcing the arms further back
This time working the right arm in then the left;
-    The right arm was much more in place than the left
-    Walk the right foot towards the center line of the body and place the ball of the foot down
-    Bring the left foot toward the right
-    Both feet are more under the body
-    Hook the left ankle with the right
-    As the arms straighten the buttocks lift and the feet stay under the body
-    Upper back rounds and the front ribs suck up to the ceiling

Savasana in Supta Baddha Konasana
-    Legs are straightened for a couple of minutes to put he groins in neutral

So after class, we were hungry for vegan food and headed for The Real Green Café, Pune’s first vegan eatery. Somewhat of a highlight for the week, for recreational time outside of yoga. When we arrived there was something set up for a talk. Most of the seats were taken as we peered through the glass doors. Anyway, were somewhat at a loss as to what to do. The proprietor bid us come in and wanted to get us something to eat. So we agreed as the talk was commencing. We were told that the gentleman speaking was the first vegan to climb the summit of Everest – it’s Nepali name being Sagarmatha – and made it down safely. He even had his fingers and toes intact. 
The talk was fascinatingly regaled by Kuntal Joisher, details of how to prepare for such a climb, which takes years and years of dedicated training and preparatory climbs. Several climbs at 6,7, and 8 thousand metres. Then the top of the world awaits you and you must do three climbs from base camp to higher encampments and to aclimatize the body as much as possible. Even resting at base camp you are burning 4000 calories per day; 6000 when climbing with no possible way of getting truly replenishing oneself. Each time you climb there are murderous ice fields that shift and can fall on you at any moment. The numerous and fearsome ways a hypoxic brain can deceive you into stepping off the mountain and plunging you to your death. The bravery of the men born to climb, that are assigned to every climber, the Sherpas that often risk their lives to help the troubled, the frightened and the ridiculous find their way off the mountain. He had footage of all three attempts he had made at climbing his obsession and a brief clip of him talking to Sherpa Tensi who has now made the assent 11 times - phenomenal. Kuntal did the ice-bucket challenge on one trip, nearly got lost in the dark – apparently a lot of cl In 2015 he survived the quake that devastated Nepal and subsequent avalanche that engulfed base camp and killed 16 Sherpas. Some of the pictures were breathtaking of course and his picture at the roof of the world… you could see all the way to the Indian peaks of the Himalayas, a rarity at the top of the world. Nearly 8 years, an earthquake, an avalanche that took the lives of many Sherpas and climbers and a 12 hour walk through the most extreme climate and terrain, as close as a human can get to being out of the atmosphere with your feet still on the ground… those 20 minutes up there must have been every superlative that you can think of. So I met a genuine world citizen who has been where most fear to tread. Much like Iyengar yoga assessments (ha-ha).
Anyway, for those of you on the west coast of the USA, Kuntal is going to be there soon giving his talk in LA and San Francisco. Don’t miss it!
Follow: @kunsjoi on twitter