August 8, 2012
Another class with Geeta this morning, marking the first class of forward extensions. My, my, my….what a class. Twisting and hamstring stretching and more twisting, followed by a 10 minute Sirsasana (headstand) and Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) with variations. It was warm and very humid this morning, making every muscle maliable and fluid. But, it was really hot.
Tonight I am observing my first medical class. Guruji taught the class last night and I’m hoping he will appear again to teach, if not tonight, then at some point while I’m here. My neighbor, Maria, from Spain attended last night and was astounded by his teaching. I can’t wait.
My adventures with Nana have continued to be entertaining. An auto-rickshaw ride is more exhilarating than any roller coaster ride I’ve been on, for one thing. We’ve seen cows, camels, dogs, elephants, goats and pigs on the busy streets of Pune with motorbikes, cars, bicycles, pedestrians and, of course, auto-rickshaws! As my travel partner, Susan put it when talking about the roads, “Lanes? What lanes!” To my novice eyes the chaos of the road is like a bumper car ride at a fair, except (thankfully) no one collides. Instead they rather elaborately and miraculously dance around one another to get to their destination. To top it all off, they drive on the left side of the road here, to add to my awe.
We have visited many incredible shops filled with crafts, weavings, fabrics and culinary delights in this big city. We don’t start a morning adventure out without stopping for a ginger chai and yesterday I had my first lassi, a drink made from yogurt (good tip from my friend Renee). I also bought the best yogurt I’ve ever had (really!), which is almost gone after one day. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow for more.
Sight-seeing has mostly ended up being shopping, but I think we have that out of our system now. Sunday is the big day for visiting various temples around town. We have so far visited Pateleshwar Temple, which is fairly close to the Institute. This temple is a cave that was hand chiseled out roughly 1800 years ago. Not the oldest building here in Pune, but certainly a visual treat.
One other tidbit for today. Making a daily appearance around our house are the flying fox bats– one of the biggest bats on the planet. Their wing span is over a meter long. We can watch dozens of them from our kitchen window as they squabble the trees. I’ve been trying to get a picture of them in flight because they are spectacular, but to date I have not been successful. I’ll keep trying, though!