It’s after another tiring Yoga session that I sit to write this.. The past month I had my first introduction (encounter) to Yoga and the endless persistence to attain stillness, stability and serenity in (at times) ridiculously contorted angles of the body. But my first experience of Yoga, like a lot of other ‘firsts’ would be unforgettable, and so I ought to pen it down!..
The decision to enrol myself in the first course was more out of sheer desperation to be doing something than to be doing Yoga itself.. Now, coming to think of it it was because somewhere deep down (those unnerving parts of the mind which always seem to know better than us) that this was something I could try, to overcome this complete chaos in my head (and it’s been that way since a good long while). So, the decision to enrol myself at the ‘Yog Vidya Gurukul’ was out of sheer desperation to do This.
What started off as a challenge to be at the course (or for that matter anywhere) at 6 in the morning turned out to be a beautiful and fulfilling experience as the days rolled by. And I never, ok seldom, fine! May be a little more often than seldom, slept the alarm; and even after sleepless sleepovers, under pouring rains and over weekends, we (me, along with a friend of mine, who was a huge boost in being able to get through with it for a month) would, and by the skin of our teeth, make it to the class!! 😀
And as the days went by, it so happened that this became the thing I looked forward to the most… I couldn’t ask for a better start to my day, whatever followed. Simply because the vibes there were so positive!!.. And coupled with it was the satisfaction of finally being able to crack that backbreaking (literally :P) ‘asana’..
It was also a chance to get versed in an age-old (almost 5000 years old, that is) and characteristic aspect of the Indian culture.
But honestly, I know I wouldn’t have stuck around for that long (forget another level of it!) without my teachers there.. There was this palpable calm, warmth and positivity that they spread..
But in spite of being able to pick up the asanas, what I continued to struggle with (and still do) was getting my mind focused! Focused on the asana, focused on the breathing, focused during meditation… It resided in parts in everything from the mosquitoes to the latest season of Masterchef Australia and then invariably the past and the future.. But let’s not go there. Anyway, THAT was particularly frustrating!.. And something I’m still trying to work on.. Even then, there was one minute when I was completely in sync with myself.. And that was during the prayer; and I guess it wasn’t so much the prayer (quite honestly, I still haven’t figured out it’s meaning completely) as the way my teacher said it.. It goes something like this:
“Durge Smrita Harasi Bhitimshesh jantoh
Swasthaih Smritamati Mateev Shubhaam Dadasi
Daridray Duhkh Bhayaharini ka Twadanya
Each time she started reciting the prayer, I closed my eyes and was no longer in the confines of the four walls of the hall..
The sky is a reddish-orange hue as the morning sun glints on the stone facade of the temples on the riverbank, breaking through the light mist… There a ‘sadhu’ goes about his chants and the aarti begins, there the river goes about in its unhurried pace, and a town slowly wakes to a new dawn… And her voice lends a surreal effect to the imagery.. And in those few intimate moments, there is complete peace…
I could say that my teachers there were probably the biggest influence in making me continue with the ‘Yog Pravesh’ (beginner) and now the ‘Parichay’ course and I would always be thankful for it!.. 🙂
Now again, sometimes, while taking a walk, reading chapter 12 from the book, writing an assignment, or even as i write this post, when I close my eyes at night and in the quiet recesses of the morning, my mind wanders (ironically) back to those 30-40 seconds of prayer.. Her enchanting voice… And a new dawn breaks through the misty morning at the riverbank of the Holy City, I someday wish to visit…