Well we’re heading home tomorrow morning and my son Luke can’t wait! He’s had a stomach ache from eating too many cashews and a cold but has otherwise survived, much to my relief.
He has spent so much time on Youtube that he has decided to become a Youtuber. Not really the outcome I was hoping for from a trip to India!
Never mind, he’s also been attending the children’s yoga classes at RIMYI so dances around singing the Patanjali chant and we’ve had discussions about the yamas and niyamas.
It’s been a different trip bringing a child. I’ve become aware of the parrallels between the video game Clash of Clans and the Bhagavad Gita. Luke is my Krishna, urging me to stop worrying and just attack! I’ve been helping him build a (very long) wall in Minecraft. I’ve hung around in the park and gone to toyshops. (Mothers in Indian parks talk about exactly the same things we talk about in Australia, and finding a good school is at the top of the list. We’re all one).
The responsibility of keeping him healthy weighed heavily. He seems to have a robust immune system though and I think all the broccoli in the past is paying off. He’s living on mango lassis, rotis, rice and bananas.
Again I’m reminded of how being a mother makes me more appreciative of the time I do get to myself – to attend a class or do a practice or listen to a talk. And I’m really grateful that I have a son who is so up for adventure.
I’ve got a cold, so went to the practice today for the first (and last) time this trip. It was inspiring to be in the hall with so many dedicated practitioners from all over the world and the Indian teachers. I imagine BKS would be happy with his legacy.
In my last pranayama classes with Prashant he urged us to spend time with our breath and learn from ourselves, not at the feet of the master. Everyone wants to do 24 hour interviews with celebrities to see how they live, who wants to spend 24 hours interviewing their own breath?
We explored the different ways the breath moves with Viloma 1 from the pelvic region in various shapes – conical, crescent moon, spiral, helix. We explored silent sounds and their affect on the breath, the vowels a, e, i, o, u touching and opening different parts of the chest. Sitting, with the head up, we did Viloma 1 from the neck into the back brain.
Again he urged us to teach (at the more advanced levels – not for beginners) from the inner body, the breath and awareness, not from anatomical, outer instructions.
If I understood correctly, he said that the conquest of prana is not really a conquest, it’s more like the relationship between the calf and the cow. Prakruti becomes like the cow, taking care of the calf and following it around, like a mother and child.
I’ve really enjoyed sitting here on the verandah at the Ketan Hotel, talking out ideas with friends, drinking ginger tea, reading The Times of India. There are more shops and less mango trees than 20 years ago but that’s ‘progress’ for you!
A few final Leonard Cohen inspired thoughts: there are similarities between what he called his “manual for defeat” (his body of work) and Sunita saying in class that to practice is to fail. It all brings us back to our humanity.
And it was in Mumbai, working with a teacher, that the depression that had plagued Cohen for most of his life finally lifted. Something about stopping whingeing and getting on with it, just like Arjuna!