View Between Dog Pose Legs

The classes in August are crowded–like sardines- comes to mind, with the overlapping and  touching in poses. It gives meaning to the expression “packed like sardines”. Today in Prashant’s class, he had us (50 or so) put ropes around the railing that runs around the outer border of windows along the side of the classroom. We were instructed to do Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dog Pose) from the ropes. There are not enough sets on the walls for this large group. What I noticed first in the pose, were not my feet, legs or knees, but the beautiful magenta bougainvillea climbing up a near by tree that I could see between my legs and out through the windows. This held my attention even as my feet kept slipping on the green marble floors. This August class is not only a record amount of people, there is a large percentage of people here for the first time and a large percentage of younger students–30’s and 40”s. It is interesting hearing their impressions especially as we are moving through the third week and India is wearing on people. Some are looking tired and pale and less enthused as the pollution, constant noise, and millions of people crowd into your personal space. There is nowhere to go to escape this. This is the challenge.  Most Europeans are used to living in small places. Not Americans. I have loved meeting people from all over the world. August is good for this. My suite mate, Svetlana, 31, is from Slavakia. She is so bright, and interesting and has lived in Ireland the last 4 years. Suzette, is on the second floor and she is from Bolivia, family lives in the US, and she is married to a Saudi and lives  in Jeeda, Saudia Arabia. She practices a little spanish with me. They are so fun and their lives are so different than mine and yet we have much in common. I didn’t think anyone besides me spent as much time in the kitchen preparing food—the washing, shelling, cutting, cooking, seasoning, eating and enjoying until I met Svetlana. While I am sitting here on the stairwell, she brought down some bananas, sliced, drizzled with coconut oil and sprinkled with the freshest cinnamon powder. It is spectacular! I will talk more about food another time. I have loved this Augusts class because of the diversity, the different languages I hear, the range of skin colors and hair and fashion. I find this fascinating and we are all here learning yoga. There are a few Americans, lots of Italians, Spaniards, Germans, handful of Asians, Finns, Dutch, French, of course, Israelis, Iranians( a set of twins) and so many more. They all speak English, are so globally savvy and I find they do well traveling and getting around on any form of transportation. So there is this wonderful mix of people of all ages, from all over and we crowd in on the Indians who come to their regular classes every week month after month with us visiting students coming and going. So in my usual dog pose not at the windows I see the backs of the heads and bodies of all these wonderful students from all over this world and even though some of us have not spoken, we know each other in many unspoken ways. And just like yoga, it the experience more than the words that mean the most.

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