(this entry is a bit heavy in the yoga department. I’ve tried to create heading for those who would like to skip and read just yoga or just read about what i’ve eaten)
Early in the morning, we all show up for Prashant’s yoga class. More philosophy than asana his metaphor, language rich classes jumpstart the brain as he takes the concrete and throws it on its face. We are all used to working with our bodies and receiving instruction and here he gives us little instruction but instead demands we take observational responsiblity.
i’ve always thought not speaking english would make this class impossible until I had a conversation with an argentian yogi (whoa her accent was a challenge for me!). She expressed his words coming to her as she translated from spanish, a pin dropping– that her mind would leave and come back and just the right ideas, words or concepts would hit her. I then realized that english is my obstacle. She is receiving the message on a completely other level.
Yesterday, Prashant told us that we had to get it out of our heads that it’s complicated. He is actually speaking of very common ideas in so many artful and at times twisted ways that we get caught up and apparently it’s just common sense.
Here is one of his metaphors. Why do we refer to a swiss knife if we only use the scissors, the screw driver and the bottle opener and hardly ever use the knife part. LIke this we talk about breath but only use one small part or aspect of the breath.
Of course, he criticized our focus on the physical through techniques and urged us to work brahmanically and to subserve our actions thereby moving our attention away from the concrete physical to the more profound and ultimate goal of surrending our efforts to a force greater than our physical bodies. Yog as he says and not this Yogaaaa that we do, it is a prayer with a purpose beyond just the lifting of my knee cap.
So, tomorrow I’ll lean back, listen like it’s in a foreign language, admit it’s not all that complicated and let the pin drop where it lands.
I’m continually amazed at Gulnaaz’s classes. For me, they are the light. Her classes and our discussions on the ride back to Model Colony are giving me such inspiration and guidance. In our yoga community, some have moved so far away from joy in an effort to be structured, regimented, legitimate and hold on to something you cant’ hold on to, that we have moved away from joy. Today after a very challenging ladies class, the room was buzzing with energy- joyful energy.
I’m reading Krishnamurti who is so aptly speaking of what he says are misguided ways to reach a higher spiritual level by depriving oneself of joy as well as blindly following someone else for guidance. We are guided by the Pune Institute and have rules we must follow but like the rules here, they adapt, they change, they are fluid like a river moving through earth’s terrain.
This of course makes people crazy, especially if you are looking for THE ANSWER.
There is an orthodox jewish couple all over FAcebook with pictures of themselves and members of their community doing yoga. There is a pretty impressive article about them you should read. They are here and the young son is in the hall encouraged by Gulnaaz to join the class. There is no doubt they stick out even more than yellow-haired white folks from the north. It’s kinda like seeing a celebrity and I’m so curious watching the son’s serious study of the whole place filled with bloomer wearing mostly middle aged women.
Honestly, I’ve been on Hare krishna road going back and forth to the Instiute with a longer than I would have liked stop at Pune Mall to take advantage of their sale since I brought just a few old clothes to wear.
Today I joined some Aussies from Sydney (only 4 hour time difference!) at Lalit Mahal where I enjoyed idlis and sambar with a gorgeous onion uttapa with cilantro with the required mixed sweet/salt lime soda. At the end, I finished with sweet chai.
Now I’m off to find a computer part. Don’t ask but way easier and cheaper to find here.
As is basmati rice that my american counterparts take sooooo for granted. Really, you americans (and some others as well) enjoy the little things because you take your advantages for granted.