Annual Celebration Day
This weekend was the Annual Celebration Day at the RIMYI– really two separate days, starting with a Children’s performance on Saturday evening.
From the moment we arrived at RIMYI we knew it was a special night, as beautiful garlands of flowers were draped high above the front gate. We left our shoes by the entrance and walked on a long red carpet from the gate to the hall entrance. Inside the hall, the platform was transformed to a stage, with evocative sets, lights, microphones, and video cameras all ready.
The room then came to life and was filled with music, dancing, and dramatic performances that were absolutely beautiful! The children were dressed in festive Indian attire. Their dedication showed in flawless memorization, presenting for us a traditional story of Maharashtra (the state in which Pune is located). There were hundreds of spectators and we all sat quite snugly on the floor, sharing mats, blankets, and bolsters. At the end, each child gave her/his name for individual recognition, followed by a long round of applause by the audience!
The festivities continued on Sunday morning, beginning with local students—including three medical practitioners--from the Institute speaking from experience of how their practice of yoga has influenced their professional lives. A foreign student spoke of the healing she’s experienced directly from Guruji, Geeta and Prashant. After a break for chai and cookies, we were treated to an impressive display of authentic Indian music, singing, and dancing began that had everyone swaying and applauding. For many, the highlight of Sunday was a young girl (maybe 9 years old) who hopped up on the platform from the audience – very unassuming in her red shirt, black shorts and two pigtail braids – then took center stage and as the music started, performed a sequence of yoga poses that were amazing! She moved effortlessly from standing poses to backbends, arm balances, inversions and of course performing many while in padmasana! The crowd was in awe of her ability, grace and clear devotion to the practice.
After the performances, a feast of delicious traditional Indian food awaited us outside. It was a beautiful afternoon to meet and mingle with those we rarely have time to speak with in the regular routine of a day.
This morning (Monday), the practice hall was back to normal, but everyone seemed to move at a little different pace – with a bit more awareness, intelligence, and appreciation of this gift we receive by being here this month and experiencing Iyengar Yoga at RIMYI.