Happy 4th of July America! I miss you dearly. Last year, I was making this yummy sangria. While I am opening my eyes and enjoying the experiences that come along with living in a new country, I must say that I am proud, grateful, so happy to be an American.
I promise to come back when the time is right.
JUST NOT YET.
Suddenly, my life has become incredible. Incredible. I am living a dream life. This is the second time this has happened to me in my life. Wow.
How can I describe it? Well, my purpose is clear. No doubt. So much reward and happiness from the simplest things.
EVERY MORNING, I’ve been granted permission to practice at the Iyengar institute during the open hall practice times. The space is beautiful. A yoga playground with everything you could possibly imagine there – ropes, bricks, mats, bolsters, chairs, and all sorts of wooden supports which I am unsure about how to use just yet. During these three magic hours, the room is packed with about 100 foreigners, Iyengar experts, in contented hushed whispers. Amazing yoga happening every corner of the room. Inspiring downward facing dogs, deep Savasanas, determined headstands, handstands, and shoulder-stand everywhere. With mats overlapping mats, the vibe is nurturing and sharing yet independent for your individual practice. Can you just feel the energy already?
Then of course, in the corner you have 95-year-old Guruji Iyengar himself in headstand, watching us all, yelling instructions at his granddaughter on how to improve her pose.
I have been leaving the hall each day transformed, floating on this fluffy yoga cloud for the rest of the day. I am so blessed to have stumbled into these doors.
EVERY EVENING, I go to teach with my original yoga family. The yoga boys. I learn so much from their purity, respect, and humbleness. Giving my time to them feels so right. At last, my teaching there with the local Pune residents has struck upon my long-lost confidence. It feels good to teach. It feels good to be there.
AND I have new friends! In just a weeks time, I have been swept under the wings of all of these foreign Iyengar teachers – from France, Venezuela, Africa, Spain, good old California, you name it, so excited to share their knowledge and love for yoga with this eager pupil (me that is). While everyone is at least five to ten years older than me, the yoga has kept them young. Out traveling and exploring India. I just found out, the Finnish lady who shares my house with me here is sixty. She looks maximum forty-five and acts like she is in her thirties. Crazy. In return, I have taken them under my wing of what I know about India, helping them not get ripped off by the subji wallas vegetable sellers and helping them buy spices at the grocery store. Yogi bonds are the strongest.
Before I go to bed, two things that I wanted to share that really amazed me this week.
1) YOUR THOUGHTS ARE POWERFUL. Powerful enough to make birds fly inside your home and lizards appear on the outside of your window. Yesterday morning as I was heading off to yoga practice, I stared at the wide open screen doors and windows of my new home – no one in this part of town has screens for their windows. I just wondered, hm what if an animal just climbs in? What if a lizard gets in? Five seconds later, two huge birds fly in, knock themselves against the windows to skeddadle out of the house. Oops wrong way. Then a lizard appeared at night on the outside of kitchen window. YIKES and thank goodness it was outside.
If I don’t stop thinking like this soon, there will be an elephant in my bathroom.
Your thoughts are powerful enough for you to feel confident in any situation, like in a sea of intimidating senior yoga instructors. My first day, Monday morning, I had butterflies in my stomach, and believe it or not, I almost didn’t go to the hall to practice in fear of making a fool out of myself. I didn’t know much about the Iyengar props and the exact Iyengar method. So I just told myself, “You are supposed to be here. This is given to you. It is meant to happen like this. Go.” And so I went. Took up a small space in the corner of the room. Downward-facing-dogged it for five minutes – just the perfect remedy to loosen my stress, nerves, thoughts. And then I just played some yoga, made some friends, became one of them all. The mind really likes to play games.
Last week I watched this movie called The Secret, recommended by Granny. The message was: your thoughts create your destiny. Powerful movie that I will watch again and again. I do recommend you see it too.
2) TIMING. It deserves some credit. Timing is important and comes with reason. This is really the first time that I have been able to take time for 7 minute headstands and 10 minute sarvangasanas (shoulder stands). It takes that much time for you to really feel the transformational effects of the pose.
Things in life happen at exactly the right time, at least I think so. Rush into it too early and you won’t be ready or won’t understand or won’t have the patience to really gain. Too late and then perhaps you won’t appreciate it anymore. I am now understanding just a little bit why my life left me hanging in frustration for so long, telling me “wait for it, wait for it, wait for it…” It was preparing me for the next big thing. So that when it said, “annnnd GO!” I could take off running at top speed, with the certainty that the others would be coming along with me too.
It is all part of the plan.
Give a big hug to America for me!
- Chapter Twenty Four & Wishing Cake
- Five Full Hearts.