Hi from another day gone by in Pune, India.
The Iyengars continue to teach with clarity and inspiration. Today was Prashant’s day. He taught two classes, one I watched and one I was a student in.
He got my attention when he said: “You do not come to learn asana, you think you do, but you should have learned asana in the beginning…..now your asana should be teaching you about the lessons of life and conduct. You are here to learn the lessons of life and conduct, that is it.”
And thus he began class, taking us through seated twists and standing poses and sirsasana……and then saying at the end, when class was over, “Now yoga begins”.
Quite right he is. The asanas themselves are complete gestures of expression, not something just done with the arms or the legs. The mind and emotions and breath are all in there as well. I am sure I will think about this often over the next few weeks, months, and years and see how I can make this more real and understandable in my own practice.
The morning class he started with seated twists and the evening class he started with sirsasana. The morning class made the standing poses have a natural uddiyana banda action as a result of all the seated twisting, and the evening class result was to make the standing poses more pensive, tranquil, reflective, and receptive. Prashant does not tire from philosophy, metaphor, or analogies. He is the Ever-Ready Bunny Rabbit of Yoga Speech and he does it well.
The bike is back! I got the tire fixed this morning and I have been in the dusty streets ever since. Riding on Riverside in Ft. Collins at high traffic time is good training for the streets of India . . . actually, riding on Riverside and trying to turn left in the middle of the street is even better and will prepare you for the roundabouts.
I am relaxing slowly. I still have some Western habits of taking too many notes and keeping myself alert to “am I doing enough with the yoga and with India” so that I don’t do what Prashant is suggesting: save some energy to be here, to be in the pose.
That is next! To Enjoy India while I am here.
Hope everyone is having a good week. Take care!