Sunday, August 5, 2012

430 am: the sacred hour

This morning I had to wake up at 3:30am to catch my ride to the shala at 4am. Class starts at 4:30 am, but really that is 4:15am since shala time is 15 minutes ahead of real time. Between 4 and 6am are the sacred hours before the sun rises and are supposed to be auspicious and the correct time for sadhana (sacred practices like yoga, chanting, meditation, etc.) Last night I went to bed late (for a yogi in India!), around 9 or 930pm, since my day was so packed and long with my friends yesterday. We went to the market, the 'old' market, learned how to make incense, shopped for fabric to make saris, bags, pants and other clothing, ate out, hung out by the pool, enjoyed the maddening weather of sunny and boiling hot for 30 minutes followed by 5 minutes of intense downpour followed by 15 minutes of clouds, then sun, then rain... AHH! We walked and walked and walked. It was awesome! I am putting a video up on youtube with some of those moments. I will post it to my blog tomorrow (takes a while to upload).

Despite all of that, I didn't feel tired when I woke up, or when I went to the shala, or even during practice. I am energized just by being here, and by all of the like minded people who are here, all for the same reason, all vibrating on the same level. It's hard not to get picked up by all of that. It was led primary again this morning, I was right beside the 1/2 open door, but luckily I only smacked my ankle into it once. Better than being on the stage, in the hall, or worse yet, in the changeroom. It was so busy at 430am that people were jammed into all of those places. On the hard cold marble floor. Once again I managed to find a spot with a carpet crease underneath my mat. haha! Can't win! Other than that my practice went smoothly and everything felt fine except for my low back still not liking backbends very much. I like to think it's healing though. AND I stayed up for all 3000 breaths in Sharath's long winded "10" counts of ut pluthiti. In the pose before it, padmasana, I mentally gathered as much energy as I could, trying to raise myself up before I even put my hands down. Then, in ut plut, on every inhale I said "I'm light" and on every exhale I said "I'm strong".  Lo and behold, I was still up and I heard TEN. Wheeeeeeeeee! The power of the mind is a wonderful thing.

Last funny anecdote reflective of so many moments here in India. Housekeeping calls me in my room "You have laundry today ma'am?", "Yes, I have some. How long does it take to get it back?", "Ok, I come pick it up", "I would like to know how long it takes first", "how many pieces you have?", "about 10", "Ok I come now", "no wait, when I give it to you, how long until I get it back, how long until finished??", "Yes ma'am". *smacks head* "How long for you to do my laundry? one hour? one day? how long?", "Yes ma'am, yes ma'am." 

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