Friday, 12 January 2007

Saraswati: Ladies holiday and knee remedy

with Saraswati
I actually practiced on my second day of my period and casually mentioned to Shruti (Sharath’s wife) while thanking her for helping me out that my stiffness was due to my condition. She was stupefied and told me not to come to the Shala during ‘ladies holiday’. That’s what they call women who have their monthly period.

Call me insensitive or thoughtless, but I assumed it was okay to practice for as long as I don’t do inversions. I was told that Guruji, a Brahmin, considers menstruation as a purification process where toxins are released from the body and thus, ‘dirty’ or unclean. He wouldn’t even touch students who have periods. I think this is an exaggeration though. I had flashbacks though of signs at the entrance of the temples in Rajastan (and in Bali). In Jasailmer, it says "Entrance of ladies during monthly course period is strictly prohibited they are requested to maintain the sanctity of the temple." So I guess its the same with the Shala, to treat it as a sacred place for ashtanga devotees.

Good news though to women, in case you don’t know - Sally Griffyn and Michaela Clarke wrote in their “Ashtanga for Women” book that with regular practice (six times a week), the period should become more efficient – short and heavy, lasting two or three days and over time, may coincide with the full or new moon. I have endometriosis and mine got more efficient - two days and heavier.

So on my third day (yesterday), I took the ‘day off ‘and went with Joelle to Jag Therapy to have my knee checked. The Jag Therapy Center is 7-8km away from Gokulam. It is run by Sri K.R.I. Jagadish, a renowned holistic doctor and author of several books including “Health, Herbs & Harmony Nature’s Way”. He practices half the year in Mysore and half the year in Brunei for the Sultan. Registration costs Rs50 and free for succeeding visits. There's a donation box though by the reception. He applied accupressure on my knee, hips and back. He also checked my eyes and I found out from him that I don’t have asthma; rather I am allergic to bananas, raw apples, milk and GLUTEN. (I have to say goodbye to my favs - chappati, nan and chai).

Sanskrit teacher Lakshimi
Well... not sure if he actually fixed my knee because today at Led class, I almost screamed in pain while doing ardha baddha padmottansana. Man, it hurts. My left is okay its just the right knee. Liana says it might be torn miniscus. During puja, after kissing/hugging Guruji, I told him about my predicament. He recommended to apply hot coconut oil mixed with lemon on it before practice and an hour before going to bed. I think I was the only one in the queue who asked him a question today.

I saw Saraswati today in the salon and she also recommended the hot coconut oil remedy. She also mentioned that the weather is changing and may affect my joints. Lakshimi, my sanskrit teacher recommended mixing Ghee with rice to increase flexibility. I have two weeks left in Mysore and hopefully, with all these recos, my knee will be alright. (Note Saraswati's website:

No comments: