Livin’ La Vida Yoga

The last couple of days I’ve felt like I was in Mysore – I’ve been eating hot and spicy Dosas and Sambhar, the humidex puts the temperature into the 40s outside and I’ve been sweating heaps through my asanas…and I’ve taken to watching Indian television.

Shorn (temporarily) of the responsibilities of being a father, husband and an Arsenal supporter, I’ve piled into my work doing masses of overtime. It’s necessary right now and I might as well as the money comes in handy; I’m at the last band level that gets paid overtime for work over 44 hours. One more promotion and Big Blue gets all it’s overtime from me for free (kinda – of course the hefty pay hike would mitigate this).

I’ve also spent more time with my folks – helping my Dad extend his strawberry patch on Sunday (which is back-breaking work around here), and taking my Mom (Mum doesn’t seem right anymore, so it’s Mom from now on) shopping on Saturday. I even sit with her through Indian reality TV and soaps – to which I’m getting a bit addicted (I rationalize that I’m actually working on my Hindi).

The asanas have been funny lately. I have struggled with tiredness the last couple of days getting slowly accustomed to the sudden heat. Also I’m stiff in the hamstrings so Utthita Hasa Padangusthasanas are a real slog. But then some aspects of my asanas seem oblivious to this tightness – in the Paschimottanasanas, for example, I am now tucked right down, nose between knees.

Urdhva Dhanurasana is another funny one – it comes and goes. Right now it’s back (and they were great this morning). Last weekend they sucked big style though. I don’t get it. How can you be able to do an asana one week and not the next? On the Garba Pindanasana front I no longer need to lube myself – water work fine. And for the first time in a while my heels came off the ground in Kurmasana this morning.

So much into La Vida Yoga I am that last night I actually dreamt I was in Mysore. Before bed I read a couple of verses from the Sadhana Pada in Iyengar’s Light on the Yoga Sutras for a half hour. Check this pearl from his interpretation of II.32 out:

We are taught nowadays that the miracle of the world’s ecosystem is it’s balance, a balance which modern man is fast destroying by deforestation, pollution, over-consumption. This is because when man becomes unbalanced, he seeks to change not himself but his environment, inorder to create the illusion that he is enjoying health and harmony. In winter he overheats his house, in summer he freezes it with air-conditioning. This is not stability but arrogance. Some people take tablets to go to sleep and tablets to wake up. Their life has the rhythm of a pingpong ball.

Brilliant eh? Cuts right to the core of the madness of the modern world. Anyway, the Mysore of my dream last night appeared to be a composite of my remembrances of Southern Japan (where I spent a couple of years in my early twenties) and my distant memories of India where I spent a year between the summers of 1982 and 1983. I came to the Shala for Guruji’s conference on a hot evening just after sundown. I showed up late, got embarrassed, and upon leaving found that the yellow bicycle on which I arrived had gotten stolen. A bit surreal for sure. But it seemed real enough at the time. Anway, work beckons.

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