December 4, India Update
Hello from busy noisy India!
The streets scream with autos, horns, and vendors, smell of smoke, grease and urine, and yet….. you step inside the yoga hall and instantly connect with the opposite: focus, quiet, breath. Contrasts are sharp here and always in view.
It’s a good thing to bounce between these two extremes because you really start to feel that the “you” that is getting pushed around by cars and buses is also present in the orderly yoga room, and is the same one who brushes her teeth at night. And this you is unchanging even as it is required to keep responding.
Regardless of circumstances, we are always being present and becoming present, and India and yoga are indifferent to us getting this intellectually. When it’s time to race across the street you pick up your feet and move your upper, middle, and lower buttocks fast. When the teacher calls parivritta parsvakonasana to Pv Ardha chandrasana you move your hand forward and balance on one leg without groaning.
Circumstances change constantly in India and so the extra training has begun as I learn to change with them.
The asana/pranayama begins on Sunday. Until then, trying swinging your leg forward from
Dog to parsvottanasana to Pv trikonasana back to dog, then forward again to Pv parsvakonasana. To Pv. Ardha chandrasana.
All the while nailing the front edge heel plate to the floor. And using the femur heads like hammers to do. Creates stability while working on extension of lateral trunk. Try it!
December 5, India Morning Class/Prashant
Prashant taught a two hour class this morning and interspersed gems of wisdom, common sense, and asanas all around each other.
He began with seeing your abdominal region as an air traffic control center so that when we did dog pose, triangle, and half moon, we oriented our actions from this area. In this way we progress from a “do-ers manual” to being a “using manual.”
All of us began yoga as a beginner and needed to be told how to do. But at some point we should pick up the users – manual and start fresh. We each have our own users manual inside of us. And as we use it….. What happens? Are you ready for this response?
I am letting this soak in to my dark places. It struck a chord.
Why do any of us do yoga? Well, I think this morning class with Prashant kicked me through the door of examplary compassion and now I get to figure out how that works through me.
December 7, India Class/Geeta
The intensive begins!
Geeta explains that we stand up to learn something and thus begins a ten minute holding in tadasana.
The focus began in the feet and included the eyes and mind. Awareness of broad base of feet was experienced by rolling the outer foot to the inner in two places, the tarsals and the metatarsals. Without dropping the inner foot, the energy from floor to foot ascended the inner body and the mind got pulled into watching as well as being involved in the upward extension of the legs and spins.
Geeta takes and makes a body part simple and wide reaching.
The arms engaged in Urdhva hastasana for another ten minutes. Clavicles confined to widen and chest to open.
Triangle, upavistha konasana, parsvakonasana, vira 11, viraa 1, Chatush padassna, completed the morning program.
Ego mind transforming toward subtle ego mind, a beautiful sounding word in Sanskrit “asmita”.
The awareness of I being everywhere. Not the I that knows attachment but the I that functions in relationship of Truth.
December 11, Last India Update
Yesterday’s class was a three hour look into backbends. I never realized how important and useful paschima namaskar and gomukhasana arms are to waking up and preparing the upper back and arms for backbends. We will work with these two arm positions next week in class until we all know where we get stuck and how to work with that place so knowledge and improvement grow together in the right direction. Having arms, shoulders, and upper back working together will help us feel good in our daily pursuits and give our home practice a special focus during the holidays.
If fast pace and commotion typify a holiday experience, then India is celebrating something daily. India is truly a day in stark contrasts. Quiet moments stand right next to loud moments. To see the little fingers of a girl silently tapping on the window of a car for a rupee and the loudness of the swirling cars and motorcycles ( and buffalo, cow,and dogs and buses….)
buzzing around each other, makes the kind of sense that draws your breath in and out without volition.
We are indeed all apart of each other. And to take care of just this moment, is our hanuman – inspired motivation.
See you all soon.