I am reminded of Sunday.
Sunday, I ate a carrot. Local, I imagine. Organic, quite possible. The Earth crusted around the periphery gave it character, as well as the uneven knobbiness that it assumed. Unmarked. Untagged. And when I tasted it, I experienced buoyant crunch and crisp sweetness. It was one among a sea of many. It was just a carrot. And I wondered if it even knew how perfect it was.
I am reminded of Monday. It was close to 8pm. Dressed in a hoodie and sweats, she slid onto the scooter behind her husband, an overstuffed Jansport mounted on her shoulders, and gave us a warm smile. As she departed, she waved to us like a young girl leaving for school. It is hard to imagine that just moments before, this same girl had demanded such a powerful presence as she guided the seventy of us through class. Humble, simple, and yet extraordinary. The Iyengars are very, very special people.
Today is Saturday. The first day of rest from a whirlwind of a week in Pune. It is the first dry day as well; rains have been replaced by a most refreshing, chilled breeze. After a lazy cup of masala chai with Granny, I go down to the salon to get my feet scrubbed. They badly need it after six days of being barefoot at the yoga institute. The power goes out in the building, but like clockwork, the lanterns and candles emerge, and the salon bustles along as per usual. I admit that I am grateful to not be the lady in the chair getting a haircut.
Just as it is starting to get dark, I walk through the breeze amidst people and traffic and cars. A large boar sits peacefully on the side of the road and I do not notice him until we are two inches apart from each other. He gives off a nice energy and so I am not scared.
The humility of India really has me awestruck. So much so, that I do not know what to write about just yet.
The vegetables, fresh from the field, do not claim their beauty; they do not flaunt their purity. Similarly, the teachers, ripe from Guruji BKS Iyengar’s instruction do not own knowledge; they do not wear their expertise on their shoulders. People share their time, they share power outages, they share life with animals.
There is massive treasure here. Richness. Beauty. The delivery is humble.
I have a lot to learn.
I am comforted by the constants, the things that I remember from my days living here, like eating Cadbury fruit-and-nut with my Grandparents and meeting the Uncle that sells me fresh coconut after my yoga practice. At the same time, I am intrigued by the newness that change brings, like the access to Uber in India and the shop down the street that is selling liquid nitrogen ice cream.
Then, there is Guruji BKS Iyengar’s yoga institute. Studying with the Iyengars and devoting hours to my practice everyday strips away all the fluff so that I can truly study myself: svadyaya.
Sometimes, many times, I discover things that I am not doing correctly and things that I don’t like within; this is not easy and yet at the same time, it is incredibly important. Thankfully, the practice of yoga cleanses; it removes the vitiated air to create room for new, wholesome knowledge.
Although no longer physically present, Guruji BKS Iyengar is teaching in full force. I can sense his invigorating energy in the practice hall, how it touches my own practice. I can hear his words in the library; as usual, he always makes me question everything I thought I already knew. I can feel his presence on the bench outside his home that he used to sit, where I used to greet him. I had a strong feeling that this man would never leave me, just like Luke.
I guess you could say, I am being stretched, twisted, wrung, and hung out to dry for some time.
I am also getting creamed at chess.
Grandpa taught me yesterday. I could use some more practice.
Definitely more later.
peace and love,
- Sky Pours & Pirated Novels.
- Sunday Stray.