Woke up to the sound of my favorite bird. Who knows the name of this bird?? At 3:30am. Yep, think I nodded off last night at 9 after a DEEELicious meal (this is a reference to my friend Aaron) at Asha dining hall. There is no snuggling back down as my bed is pretty much like sleeping on concrete. So, lucky for me I'm rooming with a Vipassana meditator and it's gotten me back on track. Hardest thing ever!
At 6:15 Jennie and I walked to class. There were no cars or bikes. This is a miracle because in just a few hours you can't cross the street.
Before I get all serious, let's talk...MORE food. A delicious after practice morning snack of idly. I Love idly. Can someone make a t-shirt please? I guess they wouldn't be all that attractive on a t-shirt. I still love them.
And now onto the serious part about yoga. Prashant. Yoga is learning not doing. Can that be a t-shirt please! He says that If we actually advertised that the practice of yoga was more for the hereafter than for now, class would dwindle to the size of 5 students. True dat!
He urged us to use the breath to become aware , sensitive, connected and purposeful. The process of this practice is to learn. And he's not talking about tricks and techniques. But to learn yourself. And the key is the breath, the amazing superman breath. If you look at Grey's anatomy there are only three places that the breath resides. How grey is that?! Because really the ability of the breath is superhuman and can do much more than we think.
'There is a world inside that we do not explore but instead look outside and beyond. The practice of yoga makes us omindextrous able to do so many things at the same time, to explore the inner world profoundly and be a better person. It's impossible to be a good father, husband, brother, man if cultivating that goodness is only on the outside.' Man, I just heard this the other day ...."everyone thinks s/he is so nice but behind closed doors s/he is another person." Yea, lived that!
We began the morning like yesterday using the breath to expunge, expel and then to cultivate awareness and sensitivity, all to become more aware. Aware of your own bodily sensations, aware of what the breath does, aware of your actions and reactions. Yesterday he said that when we speak out we are unburdening ourselves only to burden another. Yes, hold on I too had a "wait a minute" reaction. I whole heartedly believe in speaking out. I mean this is in the headlines not just on CNN but our own IYNAUS website. So yea, silence is bad. But I believe he is saying that when our intention is to get something from someone than yes, we can have the affect of dumping our burden whether it be sadness or irritation or whatever on another person. Hey, take this from me and fix it. There are those that are real good and don't accept that meal of *#($! and those that a few hours later, doubled over the sink thinking "why the hell did I eat that!?"
Learning. We are there to study. Study ourselves and not just the body folks cuz that's gonna change.
And while I struggled today on a few ideas and then this ONE word I just couldn't understand., he ended the discourse with something planned just for me. This was after we had returned to the poses in which we began in a much more integrated and "sagacious" state. It was true, my Trikonasana wasn't in bits and parts and my mind was so much more settled. Then, he said that (paraphrased) "you all search for the best teacher never considering if you are the best student. " Great laughter in the hall. " You search outside and completely ignore the wisdom right there inside you." There was a palpable silence and I felt such sadness from him and in the room. We turn our eyes away from our own inner teacher and give it up to others. He is guiding us towards our own inner teacher. Jennie and I have spent a lot of time talking about this given the recent scandalous events that have brought up the issue of how much power we give to a teacher.
Following this class and before mentioned idly and chai, we returned to the practice hall. This place has so much history embedded in newly painted walls. Were people learning or doing? Who knows, it's not my business. It's a weird place where we all practice together and yet separately some meeting each others gaze with a sweet hello and others steely faced and unmoved by their internal focus of the day. It was the first day and there was some pretty intense posture or posturing happening but there I go, looking around outside.Yea, stuff triggers me ...as Jennie knows... a lot of stuff. So, I'm curiously investigating why this should even matter to me. My own practice is very different now. Probably for the same reason an old friend from years ago didn't recognize me. Older? She responded, "all of us."
We are funny human beings and what Prashant proposes is a high aim that requires effort. I for one will keep bringing it back to that inner explorer that will be my guide for this month (I just googled female explorers! why have I never heard of any of them but have heard of almost all of the men on a list? Grrrr.)