Internet has been down since Saturday, so sorry for the lag time between posts. Here is the latest with another coming on its tail in no time!
Sunday, August 5, 2012
To our surprise and delight, Geeta arrived to teach the Women’s class Saturday morning! For those of you who don’t know, Geeta has been in semi-retirement for some time now, and has not been teaching the asana class regularly. So this was quite a treat.
She started the class with talking about the union between body and mind. This union is the beginning of yoga and essential to yoga. A place to start for those of us who need guidance was simple. She said that whenever the mind wonders there is a disconnect between it and the body. Simple, right? So watch how the mind wanders. It seeks to wander because this is how it relaxes. It is more comfortable asking questions, doubting, judging or wandering off than it is focusing on the movements of the body.
She described the laziness of the of the body as “sinking,” like when we sink onto the joints in standing poses or when we slouch. This description rings true, and she said just as the body seeks comfort in sinking into the couch in the evenings, the mind seeks comfort in thought that is disconnected from the body in asana. Obviously, discipline is required to train the mind not to wander, which is one of the many reasons asana practice is so important!
And of course we did lot of asanas, which I can’t wait to practice and share with you when I return.
Saturday was also the turning point for me personally here in India–as in, I finally had two nights in a row of sleeping at the normal times for India’s time zone. Normal sleep has been eluding me for a week. To be honest, sleep AT ALL had been eluding me. My travel partner, Susan, has been sleeping soundly since we entered the country and I’ve been wandering around at night like a shadow of myself. There was no anxiety. I simply couldn’t sleep. If you’ve travelled this far before, you may have had a similar experience.
Without sleep at first it it is kind of fun, but after four or five days it gets really old. Those “senior moments” that we all sometimes experience (regardless of age), like going into a room to get something and then forgetting what you went there for, double and triple until the simplest projects seem impossible. I felt wound up, as if sleep was no longer necessary. I reminded myself of a toddler who had been kept up past their bedtime.
After Thursday night’s first good sleep, I resolved to make sleep my new pattern. So on Friday I practiced a sequence for insomnia in the morning, went right back to our apartment and read, and kept quiet, then attended the Pranayama class that evening and went back to the apartment for a calm evening. That did the trick!
Today, however, we are off on another adventure with our new friend, Nana the rickshaw driver. He is going to take us sight seeing and shopping. Sunday is our day off from the Institute, so we’ve planned an action packed day.
Stories to come!
For those of you who wanted to see the “gate latch,” here is a picture of the gate latch at our apartment. Parighāsana, anyone?