Friday, August 3, 2012

rest day... again!

It feels kind of too cushy, having one day on and one day off so far. Wed: Mysore - Thurs: full moon rest day - Fri: led primary - Sat: rest day. BUT, starting tomorrow at 430am I will have a good run of 6 days in a row :)

Yesterday after asana practice we had compulsory chanting. At 1030am everyone crowds into the shala and pulls out a few photocopied pages we were given on our first day, plus a tiny pocket Bhagavad Gita we bought for 40 rupees (less than one dollar). We go through the Ganesha Mantras, call and response, and the shanti mantras all together, then call and response again from the Gita. It's really interesting how the tone changes depending on what we are chanting. The Ganesha mantras for instance, are much more like a song than the others. You almost want to tap your foot!

(This next part is me complaining, feel free to skip to the black text!!!)
The middle of the day yesterday consisted of 80 minutes of waiting time on the phone with TD Canada Trust who decided to freeze my bank accounts for fraud prevention. Seriously? How about a phone call or email notification advising me there has been suspicious activity in my account, and wait for my response BEFORE cutting me off while travelling along in a foreign country. Just a thought. I emailed with customer service, they could not help me. I called two days ago and got through, sorted it all out, but then, the same problem was there. I tried calling again and again and again yesterday but the wait time was too long and I kept getting cut off. I even started talking to someone and told them if I get cut off PLEASE call me back at this number. Of course they didn't. I actually cried from frustration at one point. It seemed impossible. FINALLY I got through to someone and sorted it. Or so, they said. Today I will go to the ATM for the big test. Being able to eat would be idea while I'm here, so access to some funds would be a nice bonus. Dontcha think!? I plan on bringing my phone bill to the bank when I get home. That'll be interesting...

After all that joyousness, I headed back to the shala for some Sanskrit and philosophy. I got called out in Sanskrit class. He asked why I wasn't taking notes about the alphabet. I said "because I already know it". He said "really?" I said "Yes." "How about words, you know how to read and write words?" "Yes." "are you sure?" he asks me. (LOL) "Yes, I am sure" I answer. So funny. So he asks me to recite the alphabet in it's entirety in front of the class. I do it. He gives me a head bobble. "You should come to the advanced Sanskrit class on Sunday at 3pm, no extra charge". Ok. But, I also really like hearing the basics from him. As much as I have learned at university in Toronto, I know his pronunciation and understanding and teaching techniques are much more correct and authentic. So I like the beginners class too. I'll do both. And, my peeps are there! After that everyone in class thought I was a Sanskrit and yoga pro (said so to me), and assumed I had been to Mysore tons of times before. I assured them I was just a first timer and actually knew nothing ;)

First time at KPJAYI
After Sanskrit we had philosophy class. We did a little Bhagavad Gita chanting, then got into the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. I really like studying this one since I have never spent much time on it before. Hatha yoga is about balancing two energies, Ha and Tha, prana and apana, in order to gain control over the mind, which is the most excellent raja yoga. The first chapter is all about the start of ones immersion into yoga: The importance of having a proper guru and a lineage in order to determine authenticity and validity, dedication to him and that, preparedness through yamas and niyamas and proper respect and understanding before commencing. It reminds that yoga is not for fitness but rather for self purification and Hatha yoga is a shelter from the three kinds of pain humans suffer. Yoga knowledge should be kept secret since others are not ready for it yet, and a teacher should judge when a student is ready to be taught. A student is ready when he/she:

-performs his duties
-is free of personal motives and attachments
-has perfected yama and niyama
-has a humble intellect
-has conquered anger
-is entirely devoted to the guru and to supreme knowledge

Whoa, that's intense. I wonder if I am really ready for yoga?? I have some work to do.

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