From 7:00 – 9:00am is yoga class with Prashant. Then from 9:30 – 12:00pm is personal practice time. Guruji also practices at this time. At one point I looked up and saw Guruji practicing a deep backbend -Bhujangasana, with chest and arms up on the rope wall, and weights placed on his feet. Those of you who attended Arun’s workshop know what pose I’m talking about. At 94 years old, he is one like no other. Guruji also instructed Abhijata and Raya during our practice time. Got to try this one….take the middle rope (yes the middle rope, not the top one) out of the rope wall and place it in the lowest hook. Step into the rope and place the rope around the upper back (shoulder blades armpit area). Then take Adho Muka Svanasana, heels at the wall. For the second attempt, same pose with adding a block at the dorsal spine (between the shoulder blades, the rope will hold the block). Big pose!
Between 4:00 – 6:00pm, I observe the Medical Classes. Yesterday Abhijata conducted the class. Today Guruji conducted the entire class. Wow! All I can say is that this is LIKE NO OTHER. I don’t know anyone anywhere in the world that does this type of incredible work. It surpasses physical therapy hands down.
I didn’t sleep a wink last night. The anticipation of the first day of class was just too great. As we lined up the stairs waiting to go into the yoga room, I noticed that I wasn’t the only newbie struck with wonder, anxiety, and fear. As soon as the invocation begins, all is okay. While Prashant leads us in the prayers there is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I’m finally here in India at the Iyengar Yoga Institute. Then Prashant begins to speak. OMG I cannot understand a word he is saying! I can understand Geeta and Arunij, why not Prashant? He was in lecture mode today. By the end of class I could understand him a little better. After class we have two hours of personal practice time in the studio. Guruji was also practicing. While he is in sirsasana and in deep supported backbends he is talking to Abhijata guiding her throughout her practice, it’s so sweet and so inspiring. Later in the afternoon I observed the medical class, more on that later. Off to bed, I’m exhausted.
Vikram picked me up promptly at the hotel in Mumbai. Travel time to Pune was about three hours, luckily the traffic gods were on our side. Vikam was great, he called my landord as soon as we entered Pune to let her know my time of arrival, and his car was air conditioned (definitely a plus). Mrs. Pai, along with the house keeper (Kaveeta), and the cook (Monisha) were there to greet me upon arrival. Mrs. Pai explained all that was needed from me for the institute. She sent the cook with me to find an ATM, zerox machine, and to the market to buy food. What an angel! I was worried about all of this since I am all by myself in this adventure, thank you Mrs. Pai! While in the market, Monisha is asking what I want her to cook. Well, I like Indian food, but do not know the names of all the dishes I like. I just told her to pick out whatever she wanted. She made a lovely meal of rice, dahl, and a vege dish. After everyone left I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and exhausted, and I took a much needed nap. Then off to the Institute to register for classes. My flat is only 3 minutes walking distance from the institute. I saw Guruji, and Prashant as I walked in. The registration process is pretty simple If you know what is required ahead of time (which isn’t usually the case). You need a passport size photo, letter from landlord with proof of address (landlord utility bill), a copy of your visa with date of entry stamp, and your letter of admittance. Also, on the registration form there is a place to report any ailment and to attach papers relating to the ailment. So, if you have any issues you need to report, bring doctor reports (I was unaware of this).
Tomorrow is the first day of class! I keep hearing Arunji telling me “Debbie, go with no expectations”. From Chris “Focus on one step at a time – not to get overwhelmed”. And from Tina ” Follow the Yellow Brick Road – courage”. So, those are my mantras.
Check out this awesome flat! It has everything, two big bedrooms, two baths, complete kitchen, separate living room, outside balcony, AC, TV, and Wifi. It’s light, airy and quiet! Just wish I had someone to share it with. Hopefully I’ll meet people in class soon.
Just made it to the hotel in Mumbai. I couldn’t have asked for a better flight. The Mumbai Hilton Hotel is beautiful, perfect for tired travelers. Thanks Chris for the great acommodations. Headed for Pune early am. That’s it for now.
I think I’ve packed and repacked five times now! Thanks to my friend Esta for the great packing list of what to bring and what not to bring. I’ve been to India before, but this time it’s just me, myself and I. To top it off it’s my first visit to RIMYI, the home and heart of Iyengar Yoga. So, together we’ll see how it all turns out. For now I’m feeling all twisted up packing and repacking.