Saturday, January 31, 2009

Busy Day

Its a busy day of site seeing for the group so we got up early for asana class before sunrise. We went up to the roof our our hotel which overlooks the ghats and the Ganges and did a very strong practice as the sun came up. The sun rose, like a pinkish orange globe, burning away the clouds and the smoke and bringing its radiant light. The scene and the mood was quite inspiring. Since it was still chilly, I taught a very strong flow with lots of movement and no time to rest or to lose the heat we were generating. One of the group remarked, I think you packed a 3"-hour class into an hour and 15 minutes. I thought to myself, "Well, that's my specialty!"

Since normally I use the pre-dawn hours for my own practices I decided to stay in the hotel for the day and practice, rest and then head back down to the ghats for a walk about and to soak in the energy here. The group is off to see some local sites and I will meet up with them later. I am looking forward to some time for reflection.

We had a change in our itinerary after what we might now refer to as "the train fiasco."We were going to ride a train back to Dehli to catch our plane to South India. But instead we are going to fly to Dehli.The train would have been 20-hours; the flight is only 2. So we get an extra day in Varanasi and we bypass the potential for the train schedule to go amiss again and re-traumatize everyone! Our hotel right on the river was not reserved for the extra night and so we moved to a new hotel a little further away from the ghats. It is SO nice and my inner spoiled white girl is just loving it. (as are the other spoiled white girls on the trip!)

Hospitality in India is really quite supreme. There is a teaching here that by serving visitors, you are serving the Lord and so many of the Indian people really take that to heart. We were greeted here with marigold malas around our necks and a shower of rose petals, after which we were promptly seated in a waiting area and served 7-up and chai. (A side note about soda is that whether or not you think soda is good or bad, healthy or poisonous, etc and so forth, it tastes great when you are India. It is just one of those things- the sweet, fizzy bubbles are just perfect here for some reason. As are many sugar-filled goodies that would never pass my lips at home but somehow seem perfectly appropriate in this context!)

So, that's a bit of an update. Tomorrow is mostly travel and transition. Then we go from Chennai to Tiruvanamili for a visit to South India- Yogi Ramsuratkumar ashram is there, Mount Arunachala and Ramana Maharshi's ashram are on the agenda. As are some Hanuman temples and some Shakti temples. More soon.


ron said...

Through your words I can see that sunrise, feel the chill of morning on the rooftop, visualize the ghats along the Ganges, and imagine the heat of the asana practice, taste the sugary sweet drink and smell the marigolds. How very inspiring, this vicarious travel!

I hope you don't mind, but I downloaded and printed your file on Patanjali's sutras and read the section on the Yamas and Niyamas out loud during a *round table* discussion in our weekend intensive training yesterday and it was enthusiastically received by all. Mark F came and taught us for 3 hours on Friday. The Anusara explanation on how to position the shoulder blades initiated a profound healing effect on my shoulder.


Svetha said...

Great post! I can really imagine being there. And definitely agree about the sweets. There's something in the butter that they use for the sweets, which means there's something in the cows, which means there's something in the grass the cows eat, which means there's something in earth... oh! what a wonderful place India is.

Pamela said...

I am enjoying your updates so much I feel like I'm there (and just a titch happy that I'm at home here in Austin.) Sounds a bit like a Hindu version of Planes, Trains & Automobiles!

Seriously, thanks for sharing your experiences with us to articulately. You transport us all!

I know you'll be sad to know that today you are missing that quintessential American experience: Superbowl Sunday!


Christina Sell said...

Super that for football? (kidding, Pamela...kidding. sort of.)