Quiet in Pune

Pune is not quiet. It is me that is quieter and doing less. One of the real reasons for me to come to India is to slow down, do less, study, practice and get clarity about how I want my life to be going when I go back home. And of course, how to be a better yoga teacher.

The Institute is closed for classes. What is nice is the doors are open for anyone wanting to go sit in the practice hall, for puja, an offering of prayers and paying respect. There is a simple marble altar arranged on the stage with a picture of Guruji. A lovely garland is draped over the picture and the altar is covered with a red and gold brocade silk which is beautiful with the garland of tuberoses, marigolds, greenery and the red roses. Yesterday, Saturday, in the late morning some sanskrit chanters were there chanting and it went on past the hour I was there. It was the perfect setting for me to sit and just be there. Occasionally I looked up at all the pictures of Mr. Iyengar in all the asanas that line the upper walls of the practice room. All the photos in Light on Yoga and more. My eyes always go to my favorite of him in Siddhasana.  Those pictures are imprinted on my memory because they are the backdrop for all the times I have spent in classes and practices at the Institute. It is a little like saying the ABC’s as a child, they are there in our brain as a permanent reference. It’s not only the quantity of pictures you first see lining the walls but also the recognition of the advanced poses captured on photo that is completely humbling. Without a doubt anyone first seeing these pictures would know he had mastered the practice of asana.

Being able to go into the Institute and sit and be on the grounds and near the Iyengars’ home has been comforting. The Iyengars’ in their inclusive way have kept us feeling a part of and not cut off dangling with our feelings. The store is open certain hours and the money changer is coming in which helps us foreigners make our yoga purchases and change our money to rupees to do it. And the practice hall stays open for visitation and sitting.  Saturday, August 30th there will be a memorial ceremony. I leave a few hours before on my way to Mumbai and that will be fine. By then I will have said my goodbyes and be thinking homeward. There will be more to reflect on this last week in Pune and just what I want to bring back with me. The rains are back and quite strong this evening. Nice to be inside and listening. I appreciate that I can sit and listen.  Much love  Lou

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