Lots of “See you laters” today. At practice Geoff assisted me in backbends (and kapo — I got one heel yesterday and then flapped around with my other hand. Need to sort out where my other foot is!). I was a bit breathless and paused before the last backbend and ankle-grabbing portion of the program.
“Take your time,” he said. “It’s my last day.”
“Mine, too!” I said. “Maybe we should just stand here doing nothing and see how long it takes before Sharath notices.”
We decided against that experiment.
I think my favorite thing this trip (asana-wise) has been the ankle-grabbing backbends. I noticed two little round bruises, one on each ankle, the other day — and it took me a moment to realize that they are my fingerprints. Apparently I am holding on for dear life.
Yes, it’s hard to breathe in that posture, and I get bruises, but it also feels really freeing, somehow. I’m still new enough at it to not know exactly what I’m feeling, so I’ll save the commentary for later on. One thing for sure, though — having a person help you grab your ankles is a lot nicer than using a bunch of bungee cords to bolt yourself to the wall and do it on your own.
Last breakfast on the roof with Susan. I will be happy for some bland food, I must admit. Funnily enough, I also know that I will start to really miss spicy Indian food after a while.
Next time I’m here, I want more kitchen options so I can have some bland food. My spice-saturation level is at 125%. I daydream about gluten-free rice bread and plain oatmeal.
Susan was a fantastic journey companion. I’ll especially miss sitting on the steps by the chai shop in the evening, just watching the world go by. Good times.
I didn’t expect to get as involved with the street dogs as I did this trip. It was a rough opening to this journey, seeing one of them get hit by a car — the experience made me wonder how I could help that one fellow, and then all of the others by extension.
Obviously, practicing yoga is about reconciling the physical and the spiritual, the actual and the ideal, the relative and the absolute. India is a vast country and there are so many humans and other creatures, and it can be incredibly overwhelming to think about trying to effect change or to help other beings. I still don’t know how to think about this — it’s an ongoing koan, I suppose.
Posters are going up around the neighborhood in hopes that the owners of the little dog that Anu named Pili will see it and get in touch. I hope she can get out of the shelter. She’s really not cut out for it — not that any of the creatures who are there really are.
Bye to all the dogs on the street and in the shelter; bye to the scraggly cats and the goats and cows and horses. I wish there were humans keeping an eye out for you all, and hope that maybe there are, and I just didn’t see it.
This afternoon I walked down to the Main Street and bought a couple of half meters of flowers from the flower vendor. I know one of my choices was tuberose — all I know about my other selection is that the flowers are orange. When you buy the strings of flowers, the vendor wraps them up in a banana leaf, ties it with string, and puts a couple of roses on top as a decoration.
I walked my package of flowers over to the shala and asked to see Sharath. My intention was to thank him for teaching me over the past five weeks. Surprisingly, he was not at the shala. I know he is battling a cold, so I am assuming he took the afternoon off.
Chalk this up to: It’s the thought that counts. I suppose I’ll thank him for teaching me this year by going back next year.
I’m packed and my car to the airport is due in 45 minutes. Then:
4 hour ride to the airport
2 hour wait
10 hour flight to Paris
2 hour layover
9 hour flight to Atlanta
2 hour layover
5 hour flight to Phoenix
Almost home. 🙂