Friday, September 16, 2016

Humility, yep it still exists.

Today marks the end of my first complete week back to teaching and being a participant of my life. I say a participant of my life because it felt as though I've just been in a fog of some sort trying to figure out where I fit in again.  Simple tasks like walking the dogs, daily chores, and teaching classes seem to feel so strange.  I spent the better part of 7 weeks being selfish in a way.  Napping was no stranger, doing many hours of asana a day, sightseeing, getting to know new people and even reading novels is how I spent a lot of time. I say I was busy, however there was plenty of down time in which I was left to look directly at my Self.

That is the part your never ready for.  The quiet moments where your thoughts cannot be controlled.  They are negative, anxious, judgmental of pretty much everything and everyone. It is a very uncomfortable place to sit in.  Think of it like being in your sleeping bag, your so cold and all zipped in, you have to pee, your scared to leave the safety of you tent and your skin is crawling at every sound, but it's hard to move because your all zipped in! That's what it feels like.

Even though this process of uncovering the layers of you can be awkward and sometimes agonizing, it is worth it.  To see what we are truly made of.  What is under all the stuff we have learned throughout of lives.  If only we kept the innocence of childhood until we are 90, that would be so much easier. When following the path of yoga, meditation, or even a life of spirituality,  we are constantly trying to become more humble, more compassionate, more forgiving, more open to the possibility of what we are capable of and even able to see what others are capable of. It is almost as if we have to break our hearts wide open and cry, scream, hide from it before we can get to the next step.  Of course, it is never ending and when we think it is complete, it starts all over again. 

This is what makes the journey of self discovery so worthwhile. Today, go out and be kind to a stranger, remember you never know what the other person is dealing with.  Instead of screaming at the car in front of you or getting angry about how you think you were wronged, say the mantra, "I forgive you. Have a good day." See how that feels instead.

"Yoga is a friend to those who embrace it sincerely and totally. It lifts its practitioners from the clutches of pain and sorrow, and enables them to live fully, taking a delight in life. The practice of yoga helps the lazy body to become active and vibrant. It transforms the mind, making it harmonious.  Yoga helps to keep one's body and mind in tune with the essence, the soul, so that all three are blended into one." -Preface from Light on the Yoga Sutras-BKS Iyengar

This man was at the top of a log walk. At the top, a temple, a few men, a cat, and a couple dogs. This guy was my favorite:-)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Wrapping up

This is my last blog post, not from India..........

I have been home a couple days now.  Trying to stay awake during the day, sleep during the night to get back on a routine.  I waited to write this as I am still a bit raw from the whole experience. 

India in itself is a place that chews you up and spits you back out somewhat unscathed except in your deepest corners of yourself that you try to forget exist. It increases your global awareness, your self awareness, and makes your standard of clean come down a few notches.  India is a country where you see extreme wealth right on top of extreme poverty.  Not the kind of poverty we have here in good ole' USA.  (I am not downplaying what we have going on here, just saying it gives a sense of perspective those of you who will get up in arms about that blanket statement), but the kind of poverty that makes you cry upon seeing it, you can never un-see something like that, nor should you.

The area of Pune that the RIMYI is located is very nice area.  Of course you still see some things you would never see here, but all in all, I felt safe to walk alone down Hari Krishna Mandir Road.  We were somewhat in a bubble. There was a woman selling veggies most mornings after classes and the coconut man was AWESOME. (for you Renee....).  He always knew I wanted the slippery malai, not to hard, not too soft, just the perfect blend of goodness that comes from those coconuts. (Malai, not to be confused with the band I just found out about while googling malai.  Malai this weird or what!)

At the institute, the students are a mixture of young and old,  Indian and foreigners,  experienced and newbies.  Everday, we were asked to sign in. It was so interesting to see the foreigners sign in and see where everyone came from.  Iran, Australia, Canada, France, UK, Israel, Spain, China, Korea, and more! All of the teachers there have such a gift, the way they blend discipline,  humor, philosophy, and physical activity together is unmatched.  They keep students engaged and never once straying from the subject of Yog. (again, just my opinion man) I am already missing the teachings of Prashant, Abhijata, Raya, Sunita, and of course sweet Devki.  It was a privilege to be there under there guidance.

Speaking of privilege,  the last week at RIMYI,  I was fortunate to take medical classes.  I was so scared to ask for help. I sent a letter, it was lost, classic. Then I had a new friend say, "Just ask Abhi.  She will listen!"  I finally got up my nerve, walked right up and then immediately began to perspire. She was so patient with my fumbling words that tumbled out of my mouth. She told me to come to medical the rest of the week. She also said, "Next time, come for 2 months to really make a difference."

I was scared to ask for help mainly because I felt so unworthy, not bad enough for them to help me since my condition cannot be seen on the outside.  Well, I am sure that it is seen on the outside, but only to the trained Iyengar Yoga teacher eyeballs.   I have so much respect for Abhijata and the way she was brought up right under Guruji. In my humble opinion, she is a wonderful blending of Guruji, Geetaji, and Prashantji, with her own dynamic and compassionate personality mixed in.

I went to medical 3 days the last week I was there. I learned so much about how to move my body and to let go of what my mind thought I should be doing.  At the first session, Raya had me in a backbend at the rope wall and he asked, "Sticky mat or wood?"  I said, "sticky mat!"  He adjusted me and let me suffer in the pose for a bit, then came back and said, "Happy Birthday. I have brought you a gift." I said, "It is not by my birthday until November." He said, "It's come early."  Then smiled and put a wooden dowell right down my tailbone and lumbar. This was not small dowell, but it was the most incredible feeling. No pain in my back , no pain in my lower abdomen. Complete freedom came and my mind felt calm, even in this pretty inense pose. This is why I do yoga.  To finally find freedom.

I wanted to share this last post because it made a big impact on my whole month. It felt as thought Abhijata and Raya saw me in a way no other teacher has. I have extremely gifted teachers here in Colorado that I work with, but nothing can replace the teachings from the source and I am bet they would agree.

That's all for now.

Yes, I am wearing bloomers.
I hope it is ok to share these.
In deepest gratitude.