It is early Sunday morning here in Pune, India, the beginning of my second week studying at the Institute. The birds have begun their music-making, with the occasional addition of the buzz and squawk of the rickshaws. I am drinking masala tea, which I am finally becoming rather expert at making....steeping the tea and spices for just the right amount of time. After one week at RIMYI, I feel more grounded, especially after a week of standing poses! My feet are walking with more steadiness, shoulders are moving into the back, chest is more open and breathing seems to be reaching more cells! The daily classes and practices are steeping within my embodiment and mind and I feel more awake, aware, curious, present, and full of gratitude for all that is being offered here as learning opportunities.
Prashant's classes this week stressed that Yoga is an educative subject. He reminded us that postures are just the outside structure, necessary as a foundation, but inert unless we search for what is contained within. This searching and exploring the inner world is the subject of Yoga, and this is what he teaches. Each class is an off-shoot of this topic, endlessly fascinating and challenging to implement. I was able to experience the skillful teaching of many of the other teachers here, especially Abhijata, Raj Lakshmi, and Devki. Each of them are steeped in yoga and the lineage of Guruji and Geetaji and I hear notes of their voices within their classes.
Living right next door to the Institute makes it very easy to participate in as much of the yoga activities as we like and it has been a busy, non-stop week. Our only excursion during the week was to buy buy vegetables at the farmer's market for our cook to make her extraordinary daily lunches.
Finally, yesterday afternoon, Linda and I took a walk down Ferguson College Road toward Deccan Gymkhana. I was so delighted to see that sidewalks have now been built on that busy road and greenery has been planted to form a barrier between the cars and the pedestrians.
Many new stores and western stores ( even Starbucks!) have been built and appear between the older, typically Indian mom and pop stores. We walked into the Ferguson College campus, a relief after the loud, dusty road. Here were scenes of young students, enjoying each other's company under the shade of palm trees, and taking classes in Colonial era buildings.
Last evening after practice, Linda and our friend Lou Hoyt, explored the downtown Pune Saturday night scene....festive, colorful, noisy, and an increasing mix of East and West culture. Huge glass, 3-story stores have appeared on the main shopping boulevard...almost like a Pune Rodeo Drive! We ended our evening with a typically Indian meal at one of our favorite outdoor restaurants...which included tomato soup, deliciously cooked as only the Indians can do...steeped in spices and rich in color.
This morning I will practice quietly in my room, before attending Prashant's Sunday Philosophy discussion and then look forward to an afternoon visiting with Pune friends, my Indian "family". A day of nourishment and refreshment, ready for the next week's adventures and explorations.
Blessings to each of you,