There is lots to be said for travel and how it brings new perspectives. Anytime I change my usual routine I am in a new situation I have to look at differently.
According to the Bhagavad Gita, Karma is the movement of daily living, the natural Cosmic Dance of Life. We choose whether we respond to life or react and yoga practice is the path that helps us distinguish between the two.
Flying from New Jersey to New Delhi was a long flight and there was a long lay over in Delhi where I had time to reflect on how little control I had over anything at this point: the huge plane flying over the Atlantic, Europe, the Middle East and into India is daunting to consider, who I sat by ( screaming children), when I ate and what, dealing with the money to buy a bottle of water, how I would get from the Pune airport to my lodging, Corona Virus signs in the airports, navigating the airports through immigration and on. So many unknowns.
I was quickly reminded when boarding a plane in India it is a merging of people, not the orderly by groups like in the US and so I merged into one big line that finally led to getting on the plane. It’s not all about me as I’m merging with and being moved along with the group. Even as my mind is thinking there is a more orderly way!
The Delhi airport is very modern and slick looking. Beautiful stores with expensive items and large art pieces throughout the airport. There is a large sculpture in an upward spiral of figures doing Sun Salutation. There is a food stand with a variety of goods all made by a company called Patanjali, and designs of lotus blossoms and people in yoga poses are evident throughout. After all, India is the home of the gods and yoga and that is now more commercially visible.
I have a nice room in an apartment of a family of four. I have my own door to come and go and I’m getting settled. Yesterday, my first day, I was exhausted and while resting I heard children laughing and playing. My 7th floor room overlooks the Iyengar Institue next door. It was so nice to see two little bikes parked in from of the large Patanjali Statue and children playing where students enter for classes. I’m sure one is Abijata’s daughter who would be Mr. Iyengars great granddaughter.
The Institue looks well taken care of and the landscaping is better than I have ever seen it. When I went to register, I was told to come on Tuesday at 2 pm to pay etc. That is huge! Not the usual disorderly masses of people merging to register and late to class. And they take credit cards!! That is something I can do and not have to get money exchanged into thousands of rupees!!
I took my first class this morning with mostly younger people attending this month and mostly women. Lots of standing poses, Sirsasana and Sarvangasana. Nothing new in information but the teaching demands total attention and presence. The teaching of Mr. Iyengar and Geeta endures and is still felt in the class space where I have so many memories. And now back it feels very familiar and comforting for that reason even with the changes.
It is nice to see the Institute looking well taken care of and changing to keep up with the times. I am thinking of you all and how fortunate I get to teach and have wonderful students wanting to show up and learn!
Much love, Lou