Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Goats, rivers and bicycles - by Tori

As I was coming back from a shopping trip to the vegetable market early this morning, I noticed a goat with a tether hanging from his neck grazing at the car dealership at the chowk (traffic circle). Though this is not an unusual sight, for me it is still such a novelty, so I took his picture. A voice behind me said "It'll turn out much better when you're in the picture too!" I turned around to see our very own Lindsey Clennell and we exchanged smiles and hugs as we made our way back toward the Institute. It was so wonderful to see him there on the road.

Then, I went to Geeta's Wednesday morning Women's Class where we are practicing pranayama this week. As we sat in Swastikasana, she spoke of keeping the edges of the body aligned like the two banks of a river so the pranic energy can flow correctly and evenly. She talked about the tilts of the body and how they "bang" in different places - at the shoulders, ribs, pelvis, etc. Our job was to study where we were "banging" - like the ocean crashing onto the shore - how it bangs. She said to exist in the middle of the sea, and then one can even venture under the sea...

Last night in his Tuesday night class, Prashant compared learning pranayama to learning how to ride a bicycle. He took me right back to a memory of my father pushing me (no training wheels!!) from behind on our driveway over thirty years ago. He talked about how you sweat and perspire and need momentum in the beginning otherwise you "wobble" and you could easily tip over without that velocity. It is only when you have gotten first the momentum that the understanding and refinement can come and then you can practice "super slow-motion."All this he applied to the breath and the practice of pranayama, which he reminded us is not to build our lung capacity or manage stress (which of course it will, but that is a by-product), but to increase our wisdom per Patanjali's yoga sutras.

So many jewels to share with you...much more to come. Off to practice and then dinner with Lindsey.

1 comment:

Janna Peterson said...

Hi Tori. I just found your blog. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. It's so fun when you're overseas and connect with someone when you least expect it... I'm sure that Lindsey got a wonderful picture of you and that goat, too. Also very sweet, your story about your father helping you learn to ride a bike. My father did the same, and at a certain point (unbeknownst to me) he let go, and was just running alongside me... his voice in my ear, "You can do it, keep on going!" That's how I learned to ride a bike, and it's a very apt model for how to teach too. Blessings to you, Tori. Be well.

Peace, Janna Peterson (former student of Mary's and now in Lindsey's class)