So, yes, the month is coming to a close and the hall is clearing out by the day. The 3-day week next week has sent many home before the actual end of the month…saving time and back to work. We said goodbye to our Manchester roommate this morning too…
As I said before, writing post-classes now is a bit more difficult only because I am absolutely in that mode of integration and can’t quite outwardly express in words more than what I have so far written. It becomes more “feeling” that can be harder to share. But I will try.
Firstly, being here just makes me happy – from a place deep within that I know is there all the time, but sometimes is hard to find in the midst of actual “real life”. And that is the rub – what I feel within yoga I know is the actual “real life”, and my “real job” is to not allow all the other stuff to enter in and cover up that true unadulterated beauty. However, outer life does happen, and I am only human, and so I of course allow disturbances to enter, find my mind running and agitated at things that do not deserve the wasted energy. This is the work to learn and this is the humbling effect that yoga has.
I also am feeling quite humbled by many of my experiences this time…in a way triggered much by this practice class I attended in Bangalore, and also just being with Geeta this go round with the knowledge that I may or may not get back here before she is gone.
The Bangalore practice, like many of life’s outer experiences, began as a frustration and a distraction…it was not what I was expecting and immediately my mind went to reaction mode. Why are we holding so long? Maybe the actual teacher will be here soon? Is the whole 2.5 hours going to be this way? Etc… I acknowledged that the woman guiding the practice was doing just fine staying, that she was older than I was, of course more experienced than I was, but my mind kept screaming “HOW CAN THIS BE SO HARD?”. I did my best to channel everything I have learned from Prashant, utilized my years of Vipassana meditation practice, but still failed miserably in most of the poses to stay for the length of time allotted. Yoga fail…HUMBLING…no doubt.
Since then, my mind has gone from that frustrated state to curious and concentrated. I know that I must dig a little deeper to find out what that experience was and how I might improve upon it. As I said in a recent post…I have now truly come to know how extraordinary BKS Iyengar was after this experience…observing him in poses I can’t even muster for a minute, staying for 35+ minutes…there is no amount of stubbornness or physical stamina that can get you there…staying present in asana means staying present physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
And Geeta, this ball of inner energy and passion covered by a bodysuit that is too old for her, falling away and disintegrating. Can we all tap into this endless amount of energy provided for us? Overrun the given obstacles of our physical nature, and give back EVERYTHING we have for as long as we have it? She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, and she makes me work harder than I ever know is possible. I am thankful for those gifts and her teaching, and I am humbled by the power she exudes.
As I prepare myself to go home, I of course take with me the memories of all the experiences and the teachings that I now have to put time in to practice. On top of that, I also get to take home new relationships with friends from all over the world – Japan, Britain, Brazil, Italy, Israel, Bulgaria, Qatar, Jordan, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and India (of course). Each trip, the world gets just a little smaller.
My hope is to be able to carry the light that gets a little brighter with each visit back home to those around me. Honestly, I always have some hesitation in coming home. It is my challenge to not hide away and protect my little flame from the winds and the weather of the outside world where it takes more work to keep it lit. India is made for this work. To study one’s self, to do the hard work of seeing your self truthfully and unadulterated – all the beauty AND the ugliness put together in one fantastic package!!!
So, I will see you soon back state-side…and hope that you will also carry on this happy humble journey along with me….