Astanga Yoga London

17th of May 2020
17th May 2020

One of the nice things about our current situation is all the people I’ve met/talked to. I’m not really a super social person but I do love meeting people. So being close to Priory park means that I’ve met quite a few other dog walkers, people exercising and I’ve even taught a few people how to do a hand-stand. Weirdest of all is after we’ve started chatting and I’ve done the ‘so what do you do question’ about half the people already know who I am, WTF how did that happen? It reminds me a bit like being in Mysore where people would come up to me and say ‘so you’re Hamish’. When it first started happening I was very embarrassed or gave some trite reply. But Anna helped me by say ‘always be polite and enquire about them’. 2bh I still find it odd, I’m no one special, it’s not like I swam the channel, got an olympic medal or the VC. I just get up at 1am.

Back to my favourite, the Mahabharata. So day ten of the war. Drona has been put in charge of the Kaurava army. Duryodhana urges him to kill one of the Pandavas. For two days Drona tried to kill a Pandava but to no avail. Then on the twelfth day Yudhishthira and some of his warriors were surrounded by the Kauravas in a battle formation called the chakra. ‘How can we escape, only Arjuna knows?’ Yudhishthira asked. Abhimanyu, Arjuna’s 16 year old son said ‘I know how to free you all but I can not escape myself, you’ll have to come back for me’. Yudhishthira gave his word. And to everyones amazement Abhimanyu broke the chakra. But then it closed around him and he was ripped to shreds by all the Kaurava warriors. There was nothing Yudhishthira could do as Jayadratha had blocked his way. Jayadratha was married to Dushala, Duryodhana’s sister. He’d also tried to abduct Draupadi.

When Arjuna discovers that his son has been killed in such a terrible way he takes an oath that he will kill Jayadratha by sunset of the next day or kill himself. So on the 14th day Jayadratha is protected by every Kaurava, and Arjuna just can’t get to him. The sun is sinking into the horizon. Krishna throws his famous Sudharshana chakra which covers the sun (a solar eclipse). The Kauravas rejoice. ‘Listen’ says Krishna to a rejected Arjuna. ‘It is just my maya covering the sun, can you hear Jayadratha’s laughter, only you can shoot in complete darkness, but make sure his head lands in his father’s lap’. And so Arjuna shoots at Jayadratha’s laughter severing his head and sending it to land in the lap of his father. Before anyone can inhale Krishna removes his Sudharshana chakra and the sun is still in the sky. The Kauravas realise they have been tricked.

And Jayadratha’s head? Well his father was a hermit who’d been granted a boon, that who ever caused his son’s head to fall to the ground then their head would split into a 1000 pieces. And so when Jayadratha’s head lands in his fathers lap, he jumps up, the head rolls off onto the land and boom, 1000 pieces of head. Which ment that Arjuna didn’t die. And Jayadratha’s dad, what had he done? Well being a hermit is one thing, constantly checking out the ladies is another. And for this his head explodes. You have been warned…

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