Monday, December 11, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
I am squeezing one more blog post before Mike and I head home. We are in Delhi today and leaving tomorrow morning at 3am. If all goes as planned we will be back in Philadelphia by Sunday night. What incredible travels we have had. I can't even begin to process it all. We have seen so much. India is spectacular. Right now my favorite part of our journey has been waking in the foothills of the Himalayas and wading knee deep in the Ganges (Mike too!) I have taken so many pictures, done so many Downward Dogs, and participated in so many pujas. I will miss India and its chaos, but I look forward to seeing home.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Mike and I head out on the road tomorrow. First we travel to Delhi, then on to Agra, Jaipur, and finally to Rishikesh. Am I sad about leaving? I am sad about leaving some things, morning practice, the shala, Guruji, Shakti house, and the dogs that live here. I am however ready to leave some things behind. Corina always tells the TT’s that yoga students show up on their mat, just how the show up in their lives. The same is true here in Mysore. You show up exactly how you are. Enzo, the first time I sat with him after my massage, was sharing his wisdom about the “scene” that exists here amongst the students in Mysore. He said, “That students expect Guruji to walk up to them with a red telephone on a silver platter and on the other line is God, just waiting for them.” As corny as it is what you discover here has always been inside of you. Just like in the Wizard of Oz, and just like Dorothy, to me there is no place like home. I look forward to seeing you all when we return. I can’t say it enough; I am sending you all love, love, and more love.
Monday, November 27, 2006
My last practice will be Thursday morning. Before chanting last night, I brought Mike to the shala so that he could take a picture of me and Guruji. I also managed to get a nice picture with Saraswati. I had dream last night about lasagna, and garlic bread with red sauce. I am looking forward to my Mom’s Christmas dinner. For any of you out there who still want to apply to the wonderful Wake Up Yoga teacher training program, the application deadline is fast approaching. (Dec 1) http://www.wakeupyoga.com/ I am so looking forward to sharing this India experience through the lens of teaching yoga. Love, Love, Love. Mike read this quote at the copy shop, and felt particularly inspired by it.
“Arise, Awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.” ~Swami Vivekananda
Sunday, November 26, 2006
A few months before we left for India Mike and I went out to lunch with his Grandmother. She asked us if we had to go to India. The answer then was, no, we don’t have to go, but now I feel different. This trip was something that I had to do. It is an interesting feeling making a dream manifest. It can provide some insight, that really nothing that is important to you is impossible. I had a great practice today. I feel really connected to the energy all around. I feel really connected to the practice of yoga. I think I am more in love with India, and the whole of yoga than I ever dreamed.
“Unless you practice meditation side by side with your work, how will you know whether you are doing the desirable or the undesirable thing?” ~Sri Saradamani Devi
Saturday, November 25, 2006
My Aunt Lisa asked, “What does India smell like?” This is an interesting question. When you get off the plane it overwhelms you. At first you can’t put your finger on what exactly your olfactory bulbs are picking up. I remember saying to Mike in the cab to Mysore, “what is that smell?” He replied, “India.” Now being here one month I can pick out the distinctive smells, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Mike and I made a list this morning. The shanty town just off the road where we lives smells every morning like a wood burning stove. After practice, it always smells like those early summer mornings on the east coast. I swear, the Devaraja market smells exactly like the Italian market. The temples smell of incense and jasmine, the people smell of curry, and sandalwood. Then there is the rickshaw exhaust, burning trash, and of course cow dung. The sweet stalls have smells of fried sweetness that will stop you midstep. Mike has said it is just like in the Tom and Jerry cartoons, you can see the sweetness wafting through the air. The shala smells most days like sweat, but Guruji up close smells really sweet. Is that what India smells like? Aunt Lisa, you’ll have to come and smell it for yourself.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I hope that everyone at home had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Mike and I spent the day very much like any other. I had early morning practice, and then we had a lovely breakfast. We then set out for out last day trip, just outside of Mysore. We went to some Temples in Somanthapur, and Srirangapatna, wrapping the day up in the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary with a boat ride. It is strange to think this time next week we’ll be in Delhi. I can already feel that leaving Mysore will be hard for me. It feels like I am just getting started. I haven’t written that much about the practice on the blog because I know many of you might not be so interested in all that stuff. Practice here is profound, and I am making some really interesting connections, and can’t wait to be able to share all of this experience. Enjoy the photos….do you see the crocodile.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Most of you reading this will be experiencing November 22nd right about now. Here in India we are just about wrapping about my birthday. What a beautiful day. It started with the early morning practice; Guruji assisted me with backbends which is always a treat because you get an extra squeeze. After practice Mike and I went to the Ganesh temple and did a birthday puja. I met Satu, one of the Shakti girls, on the way and she wrapped flowers around me and wished me a happy birthday. I called my mom, that’s me in the phone booth. A breakfast surprise of happy birthday with a nice piece of chocolate cake, you have never seen how yogi’s light up when there is chocolate in the morning. According to the peanut butter man at the shala, Hindu’s sing happy birthday, but there are no candles to blow out. Why would you ever blow your light out? I had a massage with Enzo, and then Mike and I had lunch at the Lalitha Mahal Palace. We stayed there and had a dip in the pool, and took a tour of the roof. The sun is fading and that means Mike and I will be sleeping soon. It has been a perfect day. Mike and I are taking one last chance to explore South India and taking a day trip tomorrow. Thank you all for the birthday messages. Om, Om, Om
Monday, November 20, 2006
Yesterday was quiet. The new moon was out so there was no practice in the shala. Mike and I slept in until 6am and took the day very slowly. I made a lunch date with a friend from home and we went to the Metropol for lunch, what a treat! It was down right luxurious. My friend said that when India gets to be too much, she retreats there. Now I know why, not a yoga student in sight. Mike then came and sat with us a while. Tomorrow is my 28th birthday! I know there is some cosmic wisdom about Saturn returning, if anyone out there is up on the details I’d love to hear them. My best friend presented me with a birthday card to open only on the 22nd, and shockingly I have waited. I can’t wait to open it. We are going to the Mysore Palace today. Time is moving so quickly. I have been reading a book from the Ramakrisha Ashram, called Common Sense about Yoga by Swami Pavitrananda. Love, Love, and More Love.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
What a crazy couple of days it has been in India, all of it culminating with me coming down with a whooper of a cold. The girls at Shakti House told me this morning that everyone thinks they will have digestive issues, but really everyone catches themselves a pretty good cold. I have been taking it pretty easy today. There is conference later this afternoon, and tomorrow is a new moon. I am grateful for the rest. At the Tibetan settlements yesterday there was this strange feeling that you weren’t in India anymore. The Golden Temple was breathtaking in its beauty. We got a glimpse of the monks in their classroom, cleaning the temple, and also horsing around. India pulses with devotion, and it is contagious.