when your practice doesn’t make you joyful and accepting that I’m a cliche.

Jet lag is a killer. One day I’m fine and then poof I’m falling asleep. I’ve learned to take it easy in practice. This is my 5th visit to India and 3rd to Pune so I’ve learned the hard way.

YOGA
The practice hall gets crowded and some folks are less willing to move and a bit put out when you edge in your mat. I saw that I could slide mine up more but decided to wait until we stood up. For prayers, it was fine. during the first pose a woman came into class, late. This was someone local because we foreigners are all on time due to our schedule, proximity and fear of being caught walking in late. I could sense her behind me trying to settle in. We were still on the ground. Then I felt it. Smack. She hit me and told me to move up. I did, begrundingly. Does she really think it is ok to hit me?. And the she told me to move my mat up as well. Raj Lakshmi, our teacher caught her and I couldn’t believe it but started getting on this woman’s case telling her it wasn’t necessary and that she was disturbing my state. This woman argued back, something i have learned you do not do. She was like a small child “but she….but she..”

I’ve been pushed, yelled at or scowled at before. It’s not everyone who does this but you start to wonder if they are really practicing or just doing yoga asana.

Mary Dunn, my teacher said that if your friends or people in general don’t want to be around you, you need to change your practice. I look around the practice hall and wonder what habits or attitudes or fears are being increased by the practice including myself. The practice should stabilize, cut through, eradicate, strengthen, dissolve and unify.

Today, I had the priviledge of taking class with Gulnaaz. She is the defintion of joy and light. You just want to be around her. In her own studio, we ask questions to clear our doubts from class. Today, she took us through only a few poses that taught me more about my legs than in years of living with them. I feel like a small child brimming annoyingly with a million unanswerable questions and then in class I am silenced internally focused only on absorbing kernels of understanding from her generous teaching. I’m one lucky gal.

FOOD

Vaishali’s. Packed with students and families this is the most famous dosa restaurant. I let myself be influenced to order not my usual Mysore Dosa but a Cheese Mysore. Let’s just say, that experiment is over and I’m happy for the Idlis and coconut chutney and of course the potatoes were delicious. For those who don’t know, dosas are like big crepes stuffed with potatoe and idlis are delicious lentil flour and I think fermented fat pancakes. google it because right now I can’t upload photos.

ADVENTURES

I’m amazed that people who aren’t travelers come to India to study. It shows commitment to study yoga. I don’t know if I would have done it if I was someone who couldn’t leave my comfort zone or highly disturbed noise, crowds or mess. It’s a challenge daily if you are. Just to cross the street you face all your fears. I think either it takes guts or they don’t leave the two block radius of the Instiute. Or compain. We can all complain some of us are bred complainers. I know I was. But, here is the truth I love India and all it’s messiness and beauty. I know, it’s a cliche but what am I going to do. I just love it. I know Indians view me as a foreigner and I am but I feel strangely comfortable in all of it’s craziness. And after a few more weeks, I might start complaining. Like a family member, I love it and I’m irritated by it and I can’t wait to see it and I’m happy to go home.

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